Senate Confirms Two SEC Nominees With Accounting Ties

In a victory of sorts for the accounting profession, the Senate Banking Committee confirmed nominees with accounting ties for appointment as two of the four incoming Securities and Exchange Commissioners. But it was a bittersweet victory, showing that accounting firm experience is not the best credential to have these days, at least not for SEC hopefuls.

Accounting scandals have so devastated the U.S. capital markets that a British satirical magazine called Private Eye recently ran a picture on its cover of Osama bin Laden, saying "FORGET terrorism. I'm going to become an accountant." Politically correct or not, the Senate panel looked past the sensitivities and confirmed the two ex-Big Five nominees anyway. The four new Commissioners are:

  • Paul Atkins, an attorney formerly employed by accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  • Roel Campos, a broadcasting industry executive from Texas and a former federal prosecutor.
  • Cynthia Glassman, an economist formerly employed by accounting firm Ernst & Young
  • Harvey Goldschmid, a law professor at Columbia University in New York and former SEC general counsel.

At the confirmation hearings, Commissioner Glassman, who has been serving on a temporary appointment, stepped up to the issues by playing down her ties to the accounting profession. In summing up her qualifications, she said: "I have a 30-year career, the last five were at an accounting firm as an economist. That experience has been very helpful in my understanding of how the accounting industry and the accounting profession do their jobs, but I don't work for them anymore." She added, "I never actually participated in an audit."

-Rosemary Schlank

You may like these other stories...

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has chosen a former partner and vice chairman with Deloitte LLP as its new chief accountant.James Schnurr, who specialized in financial and SEC reporting for public companies...
Summer is a time for kicking back and playing a few round of golf with friends, for example. But if you're on the green, you'd better be careful: The SEC may be looking over your shoulder.In July, the SEC announced...
An examination initiative launched by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this week will enable the agency to evaluate whether municipal advisors are complying with new SEC rules that went into effect...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 9In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards.
Oct 15This webinar presents the requirements of AU-C 600, Audits of Group Financial Statements (Including the Work of Component Auditors).
Oct 21Kristen Rampe will share how to speak and write more effectively by understanding your own and your audience’s communication style.
Oct 23Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.