Credibility GAAP
Barron's Online (10/02/00) Vol. 3, No. 5 p.1; Alpert, Bill

Last Tuesday, AICPA's Auditing Standards Board approved standards for auditors to sign off on "pro forma" financial numbers, or numbers that are not computed under generally accepted accounting standards (GAAP). Arleen Thomas, vice president for professional standards at the AICPA, said that the main issue is whether the traditional financial statement figured through GAAP is relevant today. AICPA's new audit standards allow auditors to test reports of items, such as backlog data and customer satisfaction. Under the new rules, which take affect after June 2001, companies have to disclose how the non-GAAP numbers were computed if those numbers differ from the GAAP numbers. Gary Lutin of the New York advisory firm Lutin & Co., said, "What's concerned a lot of people in the pro forma numbers is that they don't really know what they are."

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