Norwalk, Conn. (Feb. 10, 2003) Until the Securities and Exchange Commission officially informs the Financial Accounting Standards Board that it will continue in its role as a standard-setter for the profession, funding for the accounting rule maker has been placed on hold.A FASB representative said the board hasn’t received any fees for its 2003 budget of roughly $26 million, because the regulator hasn’t recognized the organization as the official standard-setter for the profession as mandated under the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley.

According to published reports, an SEC spokesman said that the regulator "is working" on naming FASB as standard-setter to the profession.

Last year, lawmakers authorized the SEC to collect fees from publicly traded companies to help in funding FASB. FASB has previously relied on contributions from companies and firms auditing public clients; however, that method came under criticism for the potential compromise in independence.

FASB, however said it has a funding reserve established for contingencies.

Separately, FASB has established a User Advisory Council, a 35-person entity to help boost the investment community’s participation in the accounting standard-setting process. The UAC would assist FASB in raising awareness of how investors as well as financial professionals use financial information

FASB will host its first meeting of the User Advisory Council on Feb. 13, at the Grand Hyatt in New York. The meeting will cover a range of issues, from accounting for financial instruments, to revenue recognition, to pension accounting.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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