Should SEC Cede Standards Board Oversight to New Regulator?

Lora Bentley

Investor advocates are a little fidgety given the goings-on with the House Financial Services Committee recently.

 

For example, the full committee passed legislation that would exempt public companies with a market capitalization of less than $75 million from Sarbanes-Oxley section 404 compliance requirements. It's what small business has wanted for years, but some observers see it as a big step backward.

 

Last week, the committee was also considering legislation that would move oversight of the Financial Accounting Standards Board from the Securities and Exchange Commission to a new systemic risk regulator, Compliance Week's Tammy Whitehouse reports. She writes:

To remain confident in financial reports, "the process by which accounting standards are developed must be free - both in fact and appearance - of outside influences that inappropriately benefit any particular participant or group of participants in the financial reporting system to the detriment of investors, businesses, and capital markets," [the Center for Audit Quality, the Council of Institutional Investors and an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the] committee.

In short, the groups argue, the Financial Accounting Standards Board and its procedures should remain independent of the political process. It's yet another item to add to my legislation watch list.



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