"Public debate and transparency are keystones of the standard-setting process," the Financial Accounting Foundation President and CEO Terri Polley recently told a group attending FAF's first annual Capital Markets Dinner. The event, held at NYSE-Euronext in New York, and including FAF, FASB and Governmental Accounting Standards Board leadership ringing the closing bell, also included Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Doug Shulman as a keynote speaker.
Shulman commended the group of standard-setters, noting: “I’m a firm believer that there’s a link between transparency and integrity. An open, public dialogue is essential to this. One key attribute of this country, which leads to trust and better outcomes, is our democratic tradition of making policy decisions in the light of day — with a lot of public debate on important issues that affect market participants.”
Read more about the dinner in Polley's communication: "From the President's Desk - April 2012.
My two cents (please see disclaimer posted on the right side of this blog):
Cent one: What Shulman says about the link between transparency and integrity makes a great deal of sense. (Note: Shulman recently announced he does not intend to see a second term as IRS commissioner when his current term ends in November, see this report in BusinessWeek.)
Cent two: My own personal impression of FAF chairman Terri Polley is she lives what she speaks, i.e., leading the FAF through open, public debate on important issues, like the upcoming decision on standard-setting for private companies (see our related post) and working to provide increased transparency on these important issues, including working to balance what may sometimes appear to be competing interests among the FAF's and in turn, (FASB and GASB's) diverse communities of preparers, users of financial statements (including retail investors, 'bulge bracket' investors, analysts, credit rating agencies, regulators and others), auditors, academics and others. Not an easy job by any means for the FAF Chairman (nor for FASB Chairman Leslie Seidman, SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro, PCAOB Chairman Jim Doty or IASB Chairman Hans Hoogervorst, nor for their fellow board members and staff), but one of great importance to the markets and in turn, the economy.
If you're new to this blog, and you find this subject interesting, you may want to take a look at our Nov. 29, 2009 post, "Why Accounting Matters."