PracticeAuditControversy dogs new US accounting watchdog

Controversy dogs new US accounting watchdog

The appointment of the official to head the new oversight board set up to police the US accounting industry is being both pushed for and resisted by those on Capital Hill.

Link: Sarbanes-Oxley: A hard Act to follow?

Pension fund executive John H. Biggs was seen by the US Securities & Exchange Commission and its chairman Harvey Pitt as the man to lead the new watchdog, but, according to reports, his appointment has been met with by stiff opposition.

Investors are among those in favour of Biggs, because of his reputation as a tough reformer who favours putting restrictions on auditors that would be stricter than those prescribed under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

But the accounting industry and Republicans have rejected Biggs because they are in favour of a more moderate person being appointed to the post.

Amongst those against his appointment is Michael Oxley, co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and chairman of the House Financial Services Committee – the Act has forced all CFOs and CEOs to swear oaths of accounting honest when they release annual company results.

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