SEC critics branded ‘anti-American’

Wayne Carnall, a former SEC
official and now a US PricewaterhouseCoopers
partner, hit back at the firm’s Meet the Experts conference this week.

‘I think this issue of comment letters is gathering a disproportionate amount
of attention. Most of the comments are good and will improve reporting,’ said

He later told Accountancy Age that he thought the reaction involved
an ‘anti-American’ element.

A flood of letters have been recently sent to UK companies, demanding huge
amounts of detail on how they filed reports. Senior FDs openly criticised the
body, implying the letters were an attempt to enforce rules-based accounting.

Robert Herz, chairman of the US standard setter Financial Accounting
Standards Board, added: ‘People here are not used to the enforcement regime that
we have in the US.

‘They don’t like to be second-guessed on their decisions here. But the truth
is that if the SEC spots a problem, then there generally is a problem,’ he said.

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