BusinessCompany NewsRatings agency calls up accounting expert

Ratings agency calls up accounting expert

Ratings agency Standard & Poor is to beef up its analysis of accounting issues in the wake of Enron and WorldCom with the appointment of an expert from Ernst & Young.

Link: Playing the ratings game

Neil Bukspan, former senior manager at the Big Four firm’s national accounting office in New York, has been made Standard & Poor’s chief accountant and is expected to develop the agency’s coverage and analysis of accounting issues.

The appointment comes amid greater vigilance by the Financial Accounting Standards Board following the recent series of accounting abuses that have made headlines across the world and prompted reviews of accounting and auditing standards in the UK. The FASB has recently been examining the accounting of employee stock options.

Accounting scandals have also worried investors who are increasingly relying on ratings agencies for advice on equity investments, because some investment banks are being accused of lack of impartiality.

Rating agency Moody’s has also added accountants to its credit analysis team and provides specialist comment on accounting issues.

Clifford Griep, S&P’s chief credit officer said: ‘We felt it was necessary to bring in greater expertise. Accounting issues are more complex than ever and specialised accounting knowledge is critical in the interpretation of financial reporting and disclosure.’

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