US accountants take backseat to regulators

Link: Pitt to get Sarbanes-Oxley Act rolling

The influence of accounting bodies such as the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants has diminished significantly since the departure of Arthur Levitt as chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission.

Levitt’s own sweeping reforms specifically relating to auditor independence were strongly contested by the leading accounting firms and institutes in 2000, and the impact of the resultant legislation was limited as a result.

But, according to comments made in the Financial Times the AICPA will have no say in the appointments to the new regulator.

AICPA chief executive Barry Melancon was quoted as saying: ‘We’ve lost our ear at Congress, but we’ve lost it too at the SEC.’

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