SEC Chief Accountant Kroeker to step down

BY NEIL AMATO

James Kroeker, the SEC’s chief accountant since January 2009, will step down in July to enter the private sector.

Kroeker, who joined the SEC in 2007 as deputy chief accountant, served as staff director of the agency’s study of fair value accounting standards, which was mandated by Congress in 2008. He also led the efforts of the Office of the Chief Accountant to improve off-balance sheet accounting standards. And he has guided the SEC’s efforts to analyze International Financial Reporting Standards and consider the prospects of incorporating the international standards into the U.S. financial reporting system.

His departure comes as the SEC staff is preparing to complete that analysis on IFRS for U.S. public companies. Accounting professionals, business leaders, and regulators worldwide have been anticipating the release of the report because of its potential effect on the effort to develop a consistent set of international accounting standards.

“Jim has provided superb counsel on a range of accounting- and auditing-related matters and has always stressed the importance of accounting to our investor protection mission,” SEC Chairwoman Mary L. Schapiro said in a statement.

The commission, which announced the departure Wednesday afternoon, has not yet spelled out a timetable for naming the next chief accountant.

Prior to joining the SEC staff, Kroeker was partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he served in the firm’s National Office Accounting Services Group. He represented Deloitte on the AICPA’s Accounting Standards Executive Committee (now the Financial Reporting Executive Committee (FinREC). From 1999 to 2001, Kroeker was a Practice Fellow at FASB.
 
“As SEC Chief Accountant, Jim Kroeker has served with outstanding judgment, and his achievements have greatly benefited the nation’s investors, issuers and our markets,” said Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, president and CEO of the AICPA. “Jim has approached his responsibilities with a strong commitment to the public interest and deep knowledge of the key issues of registrants and the profession. Jim has played a key role in efforts to improve financial reporting and reduce the complexity of financial disclosure. We wish him well.”

“It has been a unique privilege to be a member of the Commission’s staff during this truly unprecedented time and to have had the opportunity to work alongside the talented and dedicated individuals in the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant and across the Commission,” Kroeker said in a statement released by the SEC.

Neil Amato ( namato@aicpa.org ) is a JofA senior editor.

Photo: Sam Kittner/kittner.com

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