Polley steps down as head of FAF

By Ken Tysiac

After leading the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) for 11 years, Terri Polley announced Friday that she is stepping down.

Polley was named president of FAF in 2008 and added CEO to her title in 2010. FAF is the independent, private-sector, not-for-profit organization responsible for overseeing FASB, GASB, and their advisory councils.

During Polley’s tenure, FASB engaged in a few high-profile standard-setting partnerships with the International Accounting Standards Board and issued important standards in particular on revenue recognition, lease accounting, and accounting for financial instruments.

GASB’s key projects during Polley’s time with FAF included key standards on accounting for pensions and other post-employment benefits. Other key accomplishments during Polley’s tenure included:

  • Establishing GASB’s funding authority in an effort to enhance the integrity of the standard-setting process.
  • Implementing a trustee-led post-implementation review process to make sure that new accounting standards are fulfilling their purpose.
  • Restoring FASB to its current size of seven members.
  • Establishing a new Private Company Council to advocate for private company issues with FASB.

“Terri has led key internal initiatives, including major upgrades to FAF’s technology infrastructure, and has played a vital role in such matters as FAF’s strategic planning efforts … its appointment of talented leaders to serve as FAF trustees and standard-setting board members, and communications with governmental and other stakeholders,” FAF Chairman Charles Noski said in a news release.

Polley, who joined the organization in 1987 as a technical associate for FASB, has spent 32 years with FASB and the FAF. She will remain at the organization until details of a leadership transition plan are finalized.

“It has been a privilege to work for a mission-driven organization filled with exceptional people who get to do something extraordinary as their life’s work: set accounting standards that help make the capital markets function efficiently and effectively,” Polley said in a news release.

Ken Tysiac (Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com) is the JofA’s editorial director.

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