This year, Securities and Exchange commissioner Isaac C. Hunt, Jr., has two accounting and auditing priorities: monitoring the development of high-quality, cross-border accounting standards and promoting auditor independence.
Hunt told attendees at the American Institute of CPAs Conference on Current SEC Developments in Washington, D.C., that he supports the initiative of the International Accounting Standards Committee (IASC) to develop a core set of accounting standards for cross-border securities listings. The IASC had reached an agreement with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) in 1995 to complete a core set of standards the IOSCO could endorse for cross-border offerings and listings. The IASC intends to have final rules on financial instruments completed in November.
The commissioner emphasized that the SEC's acceptance of IASC standards was "not a foregone conclusion." He said any set of accounting standards issued for global acceptance must provide full disclosure. "They must be `transparent,"' said Hunt.
He said the SEC remains, nonetheless, enthusiastic about the IASC's standards project and that any delay in producing a final set of standards would not be consequential. According to Hunt, the content of the standards is of far more significance than the issue date.
Independence: perception and reality
Auditor independence was the most popular issue...