Accountants Among 100 Most Influential People in Finance

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Ten percent of the movers and shakers in corporate finance are accountants, according to Treasury and Risk Management magazine.

The third annual list of the 100 most influential people in finance includes CEOs, CFOs, treasurers, and other executives from leading corporations, as well as professors, regulators, members of Congress, and even the President. Joining such recognized names as Eliot Spitzer and Linda Chatman Thomsen are:

  • Douglas Carmichael, Chief Auditor and Director of Professional Standards, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; Carmichael remains an important link between the practice and regulation of the accounting profession.
  • Katherine Schipper, Board Member, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); A former professor of business administration at Duke's Fuqua School of Business, Schipper is bridging the gap between academic research and accounting standards on options expensing.
  • Lee Dittmar, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Dittmar is the go-to guy on which technology to use for compliance.
  • Trent Gazzaway, U.S. Managing Partner of Corporate Governance, Grant Thornton LLP; Gazzaway was ahead of the crowd in understanding the challenges posed by Sarbanes-Oxley and the need to broaden compliance efforts to achieve real risk management value.
  • James Leisenring and Mary Barth, Members, The International Accounting Standards Board; Leisenring, a former vice chairman at FASB, and Barth, a professor of accounting at Stanford University, are key players in the effort to harmonize U.S. and international accounting rules.
  • Donald Nicolaisen, Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); Nicolaisen is in the thick of many regulatory reforms that are changing the way auditors and companies get the job done.
  • Dennis Beresford, Accounting Professor, University of Georgia; Asked to join WorldCom Inc.'s (now MCI Inc.'s) board during its reorganization, the former FASB chairman sits on MCI's audit committee, among others.
  • Larry Rittenberg, Chairman, The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations (COSO) of the Treadway Commission; Rittenberg, an accounting professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is leading COSO's efforts to provide guidance for small and midsize companies on their internal control compliance.
  • Lynn Turner, Managing Director of Research, Glass Lewis & Co. LLC; The former SEC chief accountant remains a strong advocate of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, despite a business backlash.

Along with the others on this list, these accountants reflect the changing priorities in the business world and the growing importance of risk management. Expect big things from them in the coming year.

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