US standard setting chief to retire

Bob Herz

The man leading the effort to converge US accounting standards with their
international counterparts is to retire. Bob Herz, chairman of FASB,will step
down while the board of the US standard setter will increase from five to seven,
according to

Herz has been chairman of FASB since 2002 and was appointed in the wake of
the Enron scandal, perhaps the biggest accounting scandal seen in the US.

More recently Herz has been responsible for negotiating convergence between
US GAAP and international accounting standards.

He has also has to face controversy during the recession which saw calls and
campaigning to end use of the fair value principle in company accounting because
of the perceived damage it caused to financial institutions during the credit

The increase in the size of the board may surprise many after it was
downsized to five in 2008. However, FASB’s supervisors, the Financial Accounting
Foundation, believes a bigger board is necessary to support the convergence
project, Reuters reports.

The new chairman of FASB will be
. Seidman began her career at Arthur Young (now Ernst & Young),
has run her own firm and was head of accounting policy at JP Morgan. She has
served on the FASB board for the past three years.

IASB chairman Sir David Tweedie chairman said: “Bob’s decision to retire is a
great loss to the FASB and to the international financial reporting community at

“I personally want to thank him for all that he has done. He has been a great
colleague and will remain a great friend.”

Michael Izza, ICAEW chief executive, said Herz has made a “huge contribution
” to the accounting profession, particularly around convergence.

“He has a great personality, is very approachable and generally an
entertaining person. I wish him the best of luck.”

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