July 20, 2018

James Kroeker

Ex-SEC Chief Accountant Taking His Experience in Unfinished Business to the FASB

James Kroeker, 44, will be a vice chairman of the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board, the board's parent organization, the Financial Accounting Foundation said in a statement on Wednesday. Kroeker is known for handling difficult policy decisions during the 2008-2009 financial crisis and will face projects that have been slowed by disagreements between board members and […]

From the Sounds of It, Small Companies Better Learn to Love IFRS

SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker is "hopeful" that the SEC can figure something out re: IFRS in the coming months but if you're a controller/CFO type at a small company who thought that this wasn't going to be your problem, Jim has news for you: He downplayed the notion of smaller firms being able to […]

SEC Needs More Time to Get Their Heads Around IFRS

A recommendation on whether U.S. companies should switch to international accounting rules will take a few more months, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s chief accountant said Monday. The SEC’s staff had been expected to make a recommendation by year-end on whether U.S. companies should adopt the global rules, known as International Financial Reporting Standards. But the staff needs “a few additional months” to complete its work, SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker said. [WSJ]

Kroeker Gets Cranky With the AICPA’s Private Company Accounting Ideas

Apparently SEC chief accountant James Kroeker does not appreciate the AICPA’s disapproval of the FAF’s new proposal to set up a Private Company Standards Improvement Council, calling the disapproval “a clear threat to the independence of the FAF.”

Accounting Today has the entire story but the short version is that Kroeker went off at Monday’s Standard & Poor’s Accounting Hot Topics Conference in New York, calling the AICPA’s resolution “egregious.”

In case you forgot, at last month’s fall meeting of AICPA Governing Council, members overwhelmingly approved a resolution that sent the Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF) a strong message: either FAF moves to adopt the Blue Ribbon Panel on Standard Setting for Private Companies’ (the Panel) recommendations for a separate board— which is the AICPA’s preference— or the AICPA will consider other options.

At that time, the AICPA made it clear that if FAF continued to pursue its current proposal, the AICPA board of directors would look at other solutions for addressing the needs of private companies. This could include creating a separate standard setting body to develop private company generally accepted accounting principles (PCGAAP) or a comprehensive private company-specific basis of accounting that would deliver meaningful, lasting improvement to private company financial reporting consistent with the Panel’s recommendations.

Maybe Kroeker should go hang with the AICPA and cuddle up to watch the upcoming webcasts that outline FAF’s proposal?

We’re not sure why Kroeker is so butthurt, nor why he would dare take on 350,000 CPAs by calling their wishes “egregious” but that’s a different matter entirely.

Anyone Who Gives a Rat’s Behind About IFRS Needs to Mark July 7 on Their Calendars

‘Cause there’s gonna be a roundtable.

The Securities and Exchange Commission staff announced today that it will sponsor a roundtable in July to discuss benefits or challenges in potentially incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers.

The July 7 event will feature three panels representing investors, smaller public companies, and regulators. The panel discussions will focus on topics such as investor understanding of IFRS and the impact on smaller public companies and on the regulatory environment of incorporating IFRS.

“We must carefully consider and deliberate whether incorporating IFRS into our financial reporting system is in the best interest of U.S. investors and markets,” said SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker. “This roundtable will provide an excellent opportunity for investors, preparers, and regulators to provide the SEC staff with valuable information that will help the Commission in its ongoing consideration of incorporating IFRS.”

See you there. If you manage to recover from your July 4th meat sweats, that is.

SEC Intends to Take All the Time It Needs to Make Up Its Mind on IFRS

So any retiring knights out there feeling anxious can just cool it. And rubbing elbows with Deloitte talking about how great things will be isn’t going to make the Commission work faster.

That being said, Jim Kroeker will have you know that things are going along swimmingly, per the Commission’s press release:

“The staff has invested significant time and effort in executing the Work Plan, and we’ve made great progress to date,” said SEC Chief Accountant Jim Kroeker. “This progress report emphasizes the importance of transparency in the staff’s activities, and can help the public’s understanding of the magnitude of this project and the staff’s progress.”

So make no mistake; the SEC is on this. However, they do have some concerns, “[W]hether the international accounting rule maker is truly independent and whether IFRS is high quality.”

So if you could address those two things, that would be appreciated. Sir David.

At Which Point the SEC Will Announce That “Things Are Progressing” on IFRS

“As we move forward, we are committed to providing public progress reports beginning no later than October 2010 and frequently thereafter until the work is complete.”

~ SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker’s testimony for tomorrow’s hearing before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises.

The SEC Wants to Help the IASB Meet its ‘Arbitrary Deadline’

The SEC is interested in securing capital markets and protecting the interests of investors by putting a new level of priority on accounting standards setters… European accounting standards setters, that is.

SEC Chief Accountant James “P is For Principles” Kroeker announced today that the SEC’s new project will revolve around securing funding for the gatekeepers of IFRS, the IASB. “A stable broad based funding system with a diversity of capital market participants providing ‘no strings attached’ funding is of great importance to establishing a structurally sound international standards setter,” he said at a Baruch College accounting conference. Earlier in the week, JP was defending GAAP and calling the planned June 2011 adoption of IFRS in the US an “arbitrary” target but this leads us to believe that he’s since changed his mind and would like to see this convergence thing get rolling once and for all.


About 20 percent of the IASB’s funding is expected to come from US sources this year – the largest chunk of funding from any single source.

While Kroeker was busy cheerleading the IASB telethon this week, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro was off doing a little fundraising of her own, except hers failed miserably when the Senate rejected a request by Schapiro and several former SEC leaders to self-fund the agency. As everyone knows, the SEC has been plagued recently with accusations of regulatory laziness, not to mention problems with employees sitting around watching porn all day when they should be guarding capital markets. No increase in allowance for you, Mary!

Anyway, the main concern is – as always – independence. Without secure funding, the IASB is exposed to excessive political pressure and if you recall the fair value debate, you have already seen what happens when standards setters cave in. With secure funding, the IASB can be bought and sold as easily as some companies A/Rs so it makes sense that Kroeker would shift the SEC’s focus from begging Congress for a raise to funneling in cash to the IASB. You know, for convergence’s sake.

US seeks secure funding of global accounting board [Reuters]

In Case You Are Unclear, The P in GAAP Stands For Principles

“U.S. GAAP is founded upon principles, that’s what the P is supposed to stand for.”

– SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker arguing at a Pace University IFRS discussion that GAAP is just as principles-based as IFRS.

SEC’s No Rush Stance on IFRS Means a Nice Stroll Towards Convergence, You Know, Whenever

All the SEC foot-dragging on IFRS may end up benefiting adopters, if only by buying them a little extra time to get things in order and figure out how on Earth to converge the encyclopedias worth of GAAP rules with IFRS’ pamphlet of principles. At a discussion on global standards hosted by the Pace University School of Business. WebCPA’s Debits and Credits shares some excellent talking points, like this winner from IBM director of IFRS policy and implementation Aaron Anderson:

“We know we have time between now and when the SEC mandates it. We can do a brisk walk instead of a sprint.”

Speaking of the SEC, Chief Accountant James Kroeker is offended by the insinuation that IFRS is more principled-based than our precious GAAP, noting in his speech that “U.S. GAAP is founded upon principles, that’s what the P is supposed to stand for.” GAAR just doesn’t have the same ring to it and it’s a tad too late to be debating semantics if you ask me.

The SEC is understandably cautious, especially having to contend with criticisms in the media over regulatory mishaps that allowed for the unchecked misdeeds of Bernie Madoff, Allen Stanford, and of course Goldman Sachs (oops). Still, full-on adoption of IFRS implies a complete departure from GAAP and it doesn’t look like Kroeker is comfortable with that idea, even if companies looking to divert the estimated $32 million cost to convert to IFRS totally are.

IFRS Delay Helps Some Companies [WebCPA]