State Board Report
Although the current U.S. financial reporting model may not be perfect , Robert J. Kueppers, Deputy CEO of Deloitte & Touche USA, LLP, rhetorically asked, “If you are going to put in a new model, would you think of doing something that was not international?” If the U.S. adopts International Financial Reporting Standards he thought the learning curve would be steep, but a decision by the SEC needs to be made, and he thought that could happen by May 2010. “I think the Europeans will come to the table if the U.S. agrees. I think they will become serious as to setting global standards,” he stated.
The debate about the need for principles vs. rules is not new, Mr. Baumann observed. “Professional judgment” is the expertise CPAs bring to the client, he stated and suggested that the SEC develop a construct for “professional judgment,” to prevent misstatement and give confidence to the people in the field. Deloitte has instructed its staff on steps to follow when making decisions, he reported. Mr. Baumann stressed the importance of instilling professional skepticism in firm members at all levels.
Currently there is public interest in what the profession does and what it has done, and he believes the importance of the profession could not be better. “Professionals must meet evolving market needs while keeping true to the fundamentals,” Mr. Kueppers said. “Ethics and integrity will remain the cornerstones of our profession,” he told Baruch College’s Fourth Annual Auditing Conference, “Ensuring Integrity,” cosponsored by the NASBA Center for the Public Trust on December 2, 2009.
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