James Kroeker has been tapped as the SEC’s acting chief accountant. He will oversee accounting interpretations, international accounting matters and professional practice issues. He replaces Conrad Hewitt, who retired Jan. 5.
Kroeker was appointed by outgoing SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. Cox also appointed Shelley Parratt the acting director of the Division of Corporation Finance, filling the vacancy left by the departure of John White, who announced he was stepping down after Barack Obama’s election in November. White said he plans to return to private practice.
It’s unclear how long Kroeker and Parratt will serve in the positions given the handoff in leadership from Cox to his eventual successor. President-elect Obama has nominated Mary Schapiro, the CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), to succeed Cox.
Since joining the Commission as deputy chief accountant in February 2007, Kroeker has played a role in efforts to improve financial reporting and reduce the complexity of financial disclosure. He was staff director of the SEC’s recent congressionally mandated study of fair value accounting standards, and he has led the efforts of the Office of the Chief Accountant to address the current economic turmoil, including steps to improve off-balance-sheet accounting guidelines. He has been responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office’s accounting group, including resolution of accounting practice issues, rule making and oversight of private-sector standard-setting efforts.
Parratt has been deputy director of the Division of Corporation Finance since 2003. She led the division in revamping its disclosure review program to meet a mandate under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to regularly and systematically review the disclosures of the approximately 12,000 reporting companies the division oversees. She oversaw the division’s review projects and staff reports on IFRS and executive compensation disclosure.
In response to the economic crisis and financial rescue package, she led the division in issuing staff guidance for financial institutions filing proxy statements in connection with the TARP Capital Purchase Program, as well as “Dear CFO” letters providing guidance on MD&A disclosure issues for companies’ consideration.
In other appointments, Alta Rodriguez was named the SEC’s acting equal employment opportunity (EEO) director.