SEC names Bricker chief accountant

By Ken Tysiac

Wesley Bricker, a CPA and former PwC partner who has a law degree and is a member of the New York State Bar Association, was named chief accountant by the SEC on Tuesday.

Bricker has served as interim chief accountant since July while James Schnurr has been recovering from a serious bicycle crash. Schnurr, who began his tenure as chief accountant in October 2014, is retiring, the SEC announced Tuesday.

The chief accountant is the principal adviser to the SEC on accounting and auditing matters and assists the commission in its oversight of FASB and the PCAOB.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White—who is stepping down from her post in January—said in a news release that Bricker has demonstrated excellent leadership and analytic skills at the agency. Bricker joined the SEC in 2015 from PwC, where he was responsible for audit engagements in the banking, financial technology, and investment management sectors.

He served as a professional accounting fellow at the SEC from 2009 to 2011.

“I look forward to continuing to promote improvements to financial reporting,” Bricker said in a news release, “including monitoring that the objectives of existing and new accounting and auditing standards meet the needs of investors for useful and reliable financial reporting information.”

The issues Bricker will face as chief accountant include:

  • Monitoring of implementation issues related to the new revenue recognition standard developed by FASB and the International Accounting Standards Board.
  • Pressing forward with the Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative, an SEC staff review of disclosure requirements and the presentation of delivery of disclosures. The SEC is examining ways to modernize and simplify disclosures.
  • A focus on non-GAAP measures that some companies use to provide more details about their results. SEC rules are intended to make sure non-GAAP reporting does not mislead investors.

Ken Tysiac (ktysiac@aicpa.org) is a JofA editorial director.

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