David Vaudt, who has been Iowa’s state auditor since January 2003, has been named GASB’s new chairman.
Vaudt, 59, will take his post on July 1 following the retirement of current chairman Robert Attmore.
In Vaudt’s current position, he is responsible for auditing Iowa’s comprehensive annual financial report and single audit report. He also has supervised the annual audit of more than 200 Iowa cities, counties, school districts, and other government agencies.
“David’s extensive experience with and knowledge of the challenging accounting and financial issues facing state and local governments will enable him to continue the strong tradition of leadership and transparency established by our outgoing chairman, Bob Attmore,” Jeffrey Diermeier, chairman of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) board of trustees, said in a news release. FAF oversees GASB and its sister organization, FASB.
The FAF trustees appointed Vaudt to a single, seven-year term in a departure from their past practice of awarding an initial five-year term with the possibility of a second five-year term. Attmore has served nine years as GASB’s chair.
Before serving as Iowa’s state auditor, Vaudt worked for 25 years in KPMG’s Des Moines office, including 13 years as partner. He specialized in the office’s government services practice and also served as the office’s human resources and recruiting partner. He led on-campus recruiting for audit professional staff, and served as an instructor for KPMG national governmental accounting and auditing continuing education courses.
Vaudt was president of the National State Auditors Association from 2011 to 2012, chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy from 2003 to 2004, and chair of the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board from 1995 to 2002.
During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Vaudt said his experience working at the state level and also with large and small local governments should aid GASB. He said he sees the position as a unique opportunity to expand his skills beyond the state of Iowa and take them to the national arena.
“I think my experiences here will make me a valuable member of the GASB board,” Vaudt said, “and I look forward to interacting with the other GASB members as we struggle with bringing that best, reliable information to the elected officials who make those decisions.”
State and local government obligations to retirees are major issues for GASB as Vaudt prepares to become chairman. The board is helping state and local governments implement new standards that increase the amount of information about pensions that is reported on balance sheets.
Meanwhile, one of GASB’s highest-profile projects includes standards for post-employee benefits that primarily involve retiree health care. That project will involve some controversy, Attmore told reporters.
“We have increased transparency and gotten a number of key, previously unrecorded, obligations onto the financial statements of state and local governments to make it easier for folks to understand the financial position and financial condition of governments,” Attmore said. “There are many more ways to improve state and local government reporting, and David will have an opportunity to lead the board through the process of identifying some of those other issues.”
—Ken Tysiac (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a JofA senior editor.