NEWS RELEASE 03/18/04

FASB Establishes Small Business Advisory Committee

Norwalk, CT, March 18, 2004—In an effort to increase involvement by the small business community in developing U.S. accounting standards, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has established a Small Business Advisory Committee. Committee members will be a resource to the FASB in providing additional and ongoing input on accounting issues before the Board.

While the FASB has met with members of small business in the past as part of its due process procedures, establishment of a formal committee that provides the perspectives of this group will offer greater opportunity to share ideas, knowledge and experience with the Board as well as with the other group members.

“The FASB has always recognized small businesses as an important constituency,” commented FASB Chairman Robert H. Herz. “Formation of the Small Business Advisory Committee should be a win-win for everyone involved, and the Board looks forward to working with the group.”

The Committee, whose members represent diverse perspectives and experiences, comprises 24 lenders, investors and analysts, preparers of financial statements from a broad range of businesses, including controllers and chief financial officers, and auditors from the small business community.

The Committee’s inaugural meeting is slated for May at the FASB’s offices in Norwalk, Connecticut.

About the Financial Accounting Standards Board

Since 1973, the Financial Accounting Standards Board has been the designated organization in the private sector for establishing standards of financial accounting and reporting. Those standards govern the preparation of financial reports and are officially recognized as authoritative by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Such standards are essential to the efficient functioning of the economy because investors, creditors, auditors and others rely on credible, transparent and comparable financial information. For more information about the FASB, visit our website at www.fasb.org.

The Financial Accounting Standards Board

Serving the investing public through transparent information resulting from high-quality financial reporting standards developed in an independent, private-sector, open due process.