In early April, a former student sent us a quote from a senior official of what might be called a "constituent representative organization" by some folks, but a "Washington lobby" by others. This person claimed that the Financial Accounting Standards Board's use of values in expensing employee options had discouraged that form of compensation. This and other comments unveiled someone on the other end of the spectrum from us.To the entity's credit, we were able to get the official on the phone within two days, and a conversation took place as background, not for attribution. Our idea was to probe the official's mind to find out what makes such folks look at accounting so differently from us. It turns out that the rationale for criticizing value-based accounting was so weak that we couldn't resist responding in a letter. The recipient took it with aplomb, but had no solid rebuttal.
Because the public statements were so bold, we decided to present our follow-up letter in this column to encourage others to rethink their position. We also want to give ammunition to others who desire progress.
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