Valuation for financial reporting has long befuddled accounting professionals. Differences among industrial sectors often lead to inconsistencies, and recent new requirements for fair-value reporting have made the process even more confusing.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board formally opened a public forum on the issue when it tossed the profession an invitation to comment on the need for more guidance back in January. By April 15, 79 companies, individuals, audit firms and other parties had filed comments. A subsequent roundtable discussion elicited opinions and suggestions that were so varied that no consensus or mandate could be easily reached.

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