The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairperson, Mary Schapiro, has named Paul Beswick acting chief accountant. As such, he is the commission's new principal spokesperson in the continuing debate over whether and how the United States should switch to global accounting rules.
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In his new role, Beswick will oversee interpretations of accounting rules, international accounting matters, and professional practice issues. He has been with the SEC since 2007, first as a senior adviser to the chief accountant and then as a deputy chief accountant. Beswick replaces James L. Kroeker, who left the SEC July 13.
"I am delighted to welcome Paul as our acting chief accountant," said Schapiro. "Paul's experience at the Office of the Chief Accountant and his knowledge of the profession will help him to lead the office and continue to counsel the commission on critical accounting questions."
Beswick has served as staff director of the commission's effort to investigate a potential US switch to the global rules ‒ International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) ‒ which most countries use. The switch would allow a single set of accounting rules to be used worldwide, which US accounting authorities favor. In addition, international rule makers have been pressuring the SEC to commit to making the change.
However, the SEC staff's final report issued July 13 didn't include a recommendation to SEC commissioners for what action to take, an indication that uncertainty will continue, possibly into next year.
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Beswick was a partner with Ernst & Young LLP, where he worked in the firm's Professional Practice and Risk Management Group. He previously served as a practice fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) from July 2005 to June 2007.
Beswick is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.
Source: July 16, 2012, SEC Press Release