My aversion to frequent meetings and committees has beenwell-documented in this space, often to the consternation of those who havesigned my paycheck over the years.

As I once mentioned, I used to work for a company that,incredibly, scheduled meetings to see when they could schedule meetings. Theyeven had assembled a formal meeting committee. Its members were oddlyreminiscent of the "meeting moth" character in the Dilbert cartoonseries, a person who cannot pass a meeting in progress without flapping animaginary pair of wings.

I just never thought you could accomplish much sitting ina room - often locked in argument - instead of out in the field.

My lifelong disdain aside, I will reserve judgment - fornow - on a recent announcement regarding the eternal debate on standards forprivate companies.

The American Institute of CPAs and the FinancialAccounting Foundation - overseer of FASB - and the National Association of theState Boards of Accountancy, revealed that they would establish a blue ribbonpanel to provide recommendations on the future of standard-setting for privatecompanies, and whether America's 29 million private companies need separatestandards.

As critics (including me) correctly point out there havebeen several previous attempts to settle the Big GAAPvs. Little GAAP debate, up to and including the 2005formation of the Private Company Financial Reporting Committee, which FASB andthe AICPA sponsor together.

However, this newest private standards quorum will dealmore with policy issues related to the debate as opposed to myriad technicalintricacies. The panel will comprise a cross-section of financial reportingusers, including bankers, investors, and owners as well as preparers, auditorsand regulators. It's also mulling the potential of adding representatives fromthe Small Business Administration, which in my humble opinion, it should.

The members will reportedly tackle such issues as therecently released set of International Financial Reporting Standards for Smalland Midsized Enterprises, which thus far, not everyone is elbowing their way toimplement.

AICPA president and chief executive Barry Melancon saidthat private entities would probably want to have the standards - should thatever come to fruition - in place before the SEC adopts IFRS. He alsoanticipates the panel will complete its work sometime in 2010.

As for this newest private standards incarnation, privatecompany owners - many of them small and midsized businesses - might rationalizethat when you've listened and waited for a resolution to a difficult issue for30 years, another year probably won't matter.

But if at the end of 2010, it's back to status quo, thenthe meeting and committee one-liners are sure to begin again.

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