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Future of Accounting Report Assembly

Future of Accounting Report Assembly

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Published by: dogwoodie on Jun 13, 2011
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The American AssemblyColumbia University“The Future of the Accounting Profession”American Assembly Report103
American AssemblyPreface
On November 13, 2003, fifty-seven
men and women, including leadersfrom the worlds of accounting, finance, law, academia, investment banking, journalism, non-governmental organizations, as well as the current and formerregulatory officials from The Federal Reserve Board, the Securities andExchange Commission (SEC), the General Accounting Office (GAO), the PublicCompany Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), The Financial AccountingStandards Board (FASB), and the International Accounting Standards Board(IASB) gathered at the Lansdowne Resort, Leesburg, Virginia, for the 103
 American Assembly entitled “The Future of the Accounting Profession.” Over thecourse of the Assembly, the distinguished professionals considered three broadareas of the accounting profession: its present state, its desired future state, andhow it might reach that future state.This Assembly project was co-directed by Roderick M. Hills, Partner, Hills& Stern, and former Chairman of the SEC, and Russell E. Palmer, CEO, ThePalmer Group, former CEO, Touche Ross & Co. Initiated by the co-directors infall 2000, this project showed an extraordinary prescience of the material eventsthat subsequently unfolded. The project benefited greatly from the advice andactive guidance of an eminent steering committee, whose names and affiliationsare listed in the appendix of this report.In preparation for the national meeting, a volume of background materialwas compiled by the co-directors with assistance from Roman Weil, V. DuaneRath Professor of Accounting, University of Chicago. This material includedpapers by Mr. Weil and Kathleen Fitzgerald, lecturer at the University of ChicagoLaw School; George J. Benston, John H. Harland Professor of FinanceAccounting, and Economics at Emory University; an address by Arthur R. Wyatt,Adjunct Professor of Accountancy at the University of Illinois College ofBusiness; and an article from
The Economist 
magazine. The participants werealso provided with a set of detailed questions to guide their discussions duringthe Assembly. This critical component was prepared by Katherine Schipper,Board Member, FASB, with assistance from Ralph C. Ferrara, among others.During the 103
American Assembly, participants heard two keynoteaddresses, from William H. Donaldson, Chairman of the SEC and ProfessorWeil, which provided background and informed their discussions. Russell
Palmer moderated a panel discussion among Shaun F. O’Malley, ChairmanEmeritus of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ray J. Groves, former CEO of Ernst &Young, and James E. Copeland, former CEO of Deloitte & Touche. Paul A.Volcker, Chairman of the International Accounting Standards CommitteeFoundation, moderated a panel amongst Robert H. Herz, Chair of the FASB;Tom Jones, Vice Chairman of the IASB; Stanley Fischer, Vice Chair, Citigroup;and William McDonough, Chairman and CEO of the PCAOB. On November15th, the participants reviewed and amended as a group an outline of this report,which contains their findings and recommendations. This report is available onthe Accounting project’s web page on The American Assembly’s web site(www.americanassembly.org) along with reports from The Assembly’s otherprojects. Visitors to the website can also view some of the background readingdistributed to the participants.The American Assembly gratefully acknowledges the support of The StarrFoundation, Roderick and Carla Hills, The Palmer Group, The New York StockExchange Foundation (NYSE), The ChevronTexaco Corporation,PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Charles Munger, the JP Morgan ChaseFoundation, the GE Fund, Sol Price, Marsh Inc., and an anonymous donor. Weowe our special gratitude to the project’s co-directors, Roderick Hills and RussellPalmer, for their leadership in every aspect of this project. We also express ourappreciation to Katherine Schipper for her contribution over the course of thisproject. The Assembly is indebted to the discussion leaders and rapporteurs fortheir fine work in guiding the participants through their discussion sessions andpreparing the first draft of this report: W. Steve Albrecht, James R. Doty, DavidHaddock, Simon M. Lorne, Katherine Schipper, Jonathan R. Tuttle, and RomanWeil.The American Assembly takes no position on any subjects presented herefor public discussion. In addition, it should be noted that participants took part inthis meeting as individuals and spoke for themselves rather than fororganizations and institutions with which they are affiliated.David H. MortimerThe American Assembly2

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