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]

SEC Meeting on Roadmap Will Likely Lead to More Meetings on Roadmap

We hope! Remember how James Kroeker said how the Commission was “turning our focus back to the proposed roadmap”? No? Well, he did. And apparently he was serious because the SEC is having a meeting tomorrow about said roadmap. The whole time we’ve been reading about this map to godknowswhere, we just figured it was a figment of our imagination.

But a meeting! A meeting to decide whether or not the SEC will publish a statement! That’s somewhat encouraging, isn’t it? Here’s exactly what’s on the docket for the Sunshine Act Meeting:

“The Commission will consider whether to publish a statement regarding its continued support for a single-set of high-quality globally accepted accounting standards and its ongoing consideration of incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards into the financial reporting system for U.S. issuers.”


Okay, so if we’re reading this right, this particular sit-down will be to decide whether or not the Commission will put out an official statement regarding global accounting standards and if IFRS is good enough for us here in the US of A. Since everyone seems to be doubting the SEC’s ability to play nice with the rest of the world on the whole issue, they figured a hippie-ish sounding meeting should help calm everybody down.

We can only foresee two outcomes from this meeting: 1) the SEC decides that they will publish a statement (after more meetings) and give an approximate date that the statement will be released and it will be delayed for an indeterminable amount of time, or 2) the Commission decides it will not publish a statement that the IASB can take its self-righteous double-entry accounting attitude back to London-town and we’ll just do whatever the hell we want. THE END.

SEC to Meet Wednesday on IFRS Roadmap [Web CPA]
SEC considers reaffirming commitment to global standards [Accountancy Age]

Stephen Chipman Is Slightly Annoyed by the Non-Grant Thornton People Reading His Blog

We didn’t get the third installment of Stephen Chipman’s blog until late last week and apparently while the Grant Thornton CEO seems to be keeping up his promise to come at you once a week, he’s going to be a bit more reserved going forward.

Last week SC shared a few insights from his readers, however we warned that he wouldn’t be sharing the most intimate details (e.g. ragers in Atlanta):

Because large portions of my blog are finding their way to external Web sites, I will answer some sensitive or strategic questions via internal e-mail and send my responses directly to the person who posed them.


Well, shucks. We’re not sure what “external websites” SC is referring to but as far as our humble posts are concerned, we merely provide snapshots that certainly don’t qualify as “large portions”. If you guys are aware of someone reposting the posts in full, get in touch with us and we’ll let them know at GTHQ.

We’re also curious as to what will qualify as “sensitive or strategic questions”. Is SC getting prodded with nosy questions about Sue Sachdeva? If so, he could at least give us a diagnosis on her supposed shopaholic tendencies. That doesn’t seem too sensitive. It’s most certainly not strategic.

We’d also like to hear his thoughts on Grant Thornton being vindicated in the Overstock.com circus. Patrick Bryne said some pretty nasty things about Steve’s beloved firm. This is the perfect opportunity for Steve-o to throw it in Patsy’s face via an all-out blog-off. Does he take it? So far, no. Sensitive? Absolutely not. This is justice. Strategic? Not really. Chip must get enough satisfaction knowing that the firm clear of the whole thing and doesn’t see the need for gloating. We’ve got two words for that: MISSED. OPPORTUNITY.

Because of this new cautious approach, we don’t have any parties or white whales to share this week but SC did mention that he got a little face time with SEC Chief Accountant James Kroeker. And don’t think that just anyone was invited to this little sit-down, “I was honored to be included in this very small group, which also included the CEOs of two large competitors.”

Well! We’re assuming Chip is referring to two B-I-G-F-O-U-R competitors and only since only two of them were there, this is pretty H-U-G-E opportunity for Steve. SC won’t turn down a little glad-handing with the Chief Accountant, no sir. Unfortch, he didn’t really get into what was said at the meeting but we’re sure it was a stimulating convo: Olympic fever. St. Val’s gifts for the wives. Maybe some talk about the nonexistent SEC roadmap on IFRS? Here’s to hoping that he’ll open up more this week.

A Note to the SEC

Web CPA, October 30, 2009:

Kroeker reiterated earlier statements that he and SEC Chair Mary Schapiro had made, indicating the SEC was turning its attention this fall to the proposed IFRS roadmap. When asked about the date, Kroeker said, “There will be follow-up on the roadmap this fall.” Asked to define the word “fall,” he noted that the season ends on Dec. 21.

Fall ended at 12:47 pm EST today. Anyone seen this map?

SEC to CPAs: Consider the Investors or You Will Be Dealt With

jameskroeker.jpgServants of the capital markets, in your day to day activity have you been thinking about the investors out there that depend on you? What they need? What they want? Do you really know them? If not, the Chief Accountant would like you to start, pretty please:

Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Accountant James L. Kroeker told leaders of the accounting profession that independent auditors will be expected to consider the interests of the “investing public” — not just their audit clients — when performing their duties.
The mission of his office will be to “put investor protection at the forefront in all that we do,” he said in an address to the American Institute of CPAs’ National Conference on SEC Developments.
Under his watch, “you are likely to notice we will be more proactively seeking to understand and discuss the views of investors.” Accountants “should not be surprised when we ask you whether you have considered the perspective of the investing public.”

He does think that majority of you are a-okay and “are honest hard-working professionals who simply want to ‘do the right thing,'” but dang it, are you sure you’re thinking about investors? All the time? Like, right this second? That’s your job, you know. The OCA just wants to jump your shit remind you.
And if you’re not thinking about investors, you’ll be dealt with professionally but don’t confuse that with a regulatory rollover. Expect something more along the lines of wishing you were never born:

“You should not confuse professionalism with a notion of leniency. Those who fail to live up to their responsibilities and those who cause harm to investors or our capital markets can expect that we will take appropriate action.”

Got it? The SEC dream team will deal with you that don’t start taking this shit seriously. You see those crazy-eyes? You think he’s joking? Now get back to it, with investors on the brain.
SEC Chief Accountant Tells CPAs to Consider Investors [Web CPA]

Bob Herz and Jim Kroeker Are Avoiding the Convergence Dance

dancing_herz_Kroeker_jpeg.jpgFor the love of everything that is good and holy, would someone like to be the FASB Chairman? Or the Chief Accountant of the SEC?
We realize that they’re both thankless jobs but we need people in there that are going to make some things happen.


After Jim Kroeker said this:

“[T]he boards have agreed that the projects that they’re working on are areas that need improvement, not just under U.S. GAAP but under IFRS, then I think convergence efforts should continue or would continue without an SEC finalization of the roadmap,”

Bob Herz is now saying this:

“[T]he ball is mostly with the [SEC] at this point” … Herz noted the SEC has yet to rule on the “roadmap” for U.S. compliance with IFRS it proposed a year ago.

So, let’s get this straight: JK is said, “You go first.” Now Bob Herz is saying, “No, you go first.” Does anyone want to introduce these two clowns? Are they waiting for knighthood before they move on this?
We suggest that somebody toss Mary Schapiro in there to A) complete the trilogy of stooges and B) so she can bonk their heads together. That might get them motivated.
Herz: U.S. Convergence Ball Is in SEC’s Court [CFO]

By the Time Everyone is Converted to IFRS, We Won’t Need Roads

doc brown.jpgRemain calm IFRS fanboys and girls. You’re probably sick of our piss-poor attitude with regard to progress on anything remotely related to accounting rule convergence.
Well now you can tell us to suck it as the better-late-than-never anointed Chief Accountant, James Kroeker because he, “assured a roomful of accounting experts that the roadmap is on track,” according to CFO.
Continued, after the jump


We’ll give Kroeker credit for not using the economic crisis as an excuse like every other talking head or bureaucrat in the universe. No, his turning the tables, “Kroeker noted that the crisis may have, in fact, underscored the importance of IFRS. That’s because the discussions related to the credit crunch were global in scope, as were the responses and potential solutions, he added.”
Small issue: Kroek did admit is that even though a few companies could probably be coverted by 2011, most wouldn’t be required to do so until 2016. That’s all very nice but we’re sure we’ll all be driving flying cars by then.
Global Standards Alive and Kicking, SEC Accounting Chief Says [CFO]