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FINANCIAL REPORTING

Golden to succeed Seidman as FASB chairman

 

By Ken Tysiac
April 23, 2013

Russell GoldenRussell Golden, whose technical expertise as a FASB staff member led him to a spot on the standard-setting board in 2010, will succeed Leslie Seidman as FASB’s chairman on July 1.

The Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) announced Golden’s appointment Tuesday. FAF Chairman Jeffrey Diermeier said in a news release that Golden is the most qualified person for the role after a search that included the evaluation of many strong candidates from a variety of backgrounds.

“He will bring to his new position a deep understanding of technical accounting issues informed by a broad appreciation of the larger environment in which the FASB operates,” Diermeier said.

Golden joined FASB’s staff in 2004 and worked a total of six years in various staff positions before being appointed to the board in 2010. He was reappointed to a second, five-year term in July 2012.

He served as FASB’s technical director from 2008 to 2010, overseeing staff work on standards-level projects, and chaired the board’s Emerging Issues Task Force. Golden joined the FASB staff in 2004 after serving as a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP in the National Office Accounting Services department, where he provided accounting consultations to partners and clients globally.

He previously held other positions within Deloitte & Touche LLP. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Washington State University and is a licensed CPA in the states of Washington and Connecticut.

AICPA President and CEO Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, said in a statement that the Institute is pleased with Golden’s selection.

”Russ has been a true thought leader,” Melancon said, “and in his time with the FASB has demonstrated a total commitment to improving financial reporting, which ultimately serves the public interest. We congratulate Russ and look forward to working with him.”

Seidman’s term expires at the end of June. She has served as FASB’s chairman since December 2010, and has been a member of the board since July 2003.

The issues facing FASB as Golden prepares to take over as chair include:

  • Completing the standard-setting phase with the issuance of a final standard on revenue recognition that is expected within a few months in a convergence project with the International Accounting Standards Board.
  • Pushing forward with convergence projects on leases, financial instruments, and insurance.
  • Working with the new Private Company Council as it debates possible GAAP exceptions and modifications for private companies.
  • Developing a disclosure framework that more succinctly communicates relevant information to financial statement users.


“As we address the many critical issues facing FASB in the coming months, I’ll strive to ensure that we meet the high standard set by Leslie Seidman,” Golden said in a news release. “That means putting the interests of investors first; working to make financial reporting as clear, transparent, and useful as possible; and never losing sight of the balance between costs and benefits.”

A search firm helped FAF consider more than 100 candidates before Golden ultimately was selected, according to Robert Stewart, FAF’s vice president for communications. The next step for FAF will be to fill the FASB position that becomes vacant when Seidman exits and Golden takes over as chairman.

The search for that board post is beginning immediately and will be done as expeditiously as possible, Stewart said.

Ken Tysiac (ktysiac@aicpa.org) is a JofA senior editor.

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