The beginning of the Obama Administration signaled a changing of the guard at most U.S. agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission. When Mary Schapiro took the reins from Christopher Cox in January, she made no bones about the fact that she wasn't sure she agreed with the outgoing administration's road map for moving from U.S. Generally Acceptable Accounting Principles to International Financial Reporting Standards.
Early on, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board founding member Charles D. Niemeier, who is a very vocal critic of IFRS, was rumored to be on the short list for the agency's chief accountant. Had that happened, it would have been a very visible break from former chairman Cox's agenda. But in late August, Schapiro appointed interim chief accountant James Kroeker to the position.
Last week, Niemeier announced he is leaving the accounting agency he helped to found. CFO.com quotes him as follows:
I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as one of the founding Board Members of the PCAOB and to play a role in its development. Although I believe that investors have benefited from the promotion of high quality audits through the Board's programs, there is much more work to be done.
Perhaps Niemeier's departure means the U.S. will now be able to make quicker progress toward IFRS adoption.