Former SEC chief accountant Kroeker joins FASB as vice chairman

BY KEN TYSIAC

Former SEC Chief Accountant Jim Kroeker is joining FASB in a new vice chairman position designed to reduce the burden on board Chairman Russell Golden.

Kroeker fills a vacancy on the board created by the June 30 retirement of Leslie Seidman, who was FASB’s chairman. FASB had a vice chairman early in its history, but later did away with the position.

The trustees of the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF), which oversees FASB, decided to reinstate the position because of the increasing demands on the FASB chairman’s time, according to a FAF news release issued Wednesday.

Kroeker’s term will begin Sept. 1 and conclude on June 30, 2018, when he will be eligible for appointment to a second five-year term.

“Jim Kroeker is ideally suited to fill the new role of vice chairman at this important time in the FASB’s history,” FAF board of trustees Chairman Jeffrey Diermeier said in a news release. “During his tenure as chief accountant, Jim demonstrated an unwavering concern for the interests of investors as well as those of preparers of financial statements. The combination of his deep technical expertise and his extensive experience working with a wide range of accounting constituents will make him an exceptionally able board member.”

As vice chairman, Kroeker will help Golden represent FASB with external stakeholders and will stand in for Golden as needed in guiding the board’s internal operations, according to FAF President and CEO Terri Polley.

Kroeker served as the SEC’s chief accountant from 2009 to 2012, and he also served two years as deputy chief accountant. Before joining the SEC, he served as a partner in the national office accounting services group of Deloitte & Touche LLP.

As a practice fellow at FASB from 1999 to 2001, Kroeker led a project that resulted in a new standard for accounting for stock compensation. After leaving the SEC in July 2012, he served as a deputy managing partner in the professional practice group in Deloitte’s office in Washington.

“With Jim’s deep knowledge and experience in accounting issues, all of us … know he will prove to be a tremendous asset to the organization,” Golden said in a news release.

Kroeker served at the SEC during a time when the commission was attempting to address the accounting and auditing issues that arose during the economic crisis. During his tenure, the SEC took steps to improve off-balance-sheet accounting guidelines.

The SEC’s congressionally mandated study of fair value accounting standards was directed by Kroeker, who also served as the designated federal officer responsible for the oversight of the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Improvement to Financial Reporting.

Kroeker’s chief accountant tenure coincided with a time of intense study by the SEC on the subject of whether to allow or incorporate IFRS for U.S. public company financial reporting.

As Kroeker’s tenure ended, the SEC released a 127-page report that discussed the benefits and difficulties that IFRS could bring to U.S. companies and financial markets. The report did not make a recommendation on whether to incorporate IFRS in the United States, and the SEC has yet to announce a decision on the matter.

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

PHOTO BY SAM KITTNER/SAM KITTNER PHOTOGRAPHER

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