The Financial Accounting Foundation has named Iowa Auditor of State David A. Vaudt as the next chairman of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, succeeding Robert Attmore.
Vaudt, 59, was appointed by the FAF trustees to a single, seven-year term, a change from the past practice of appointing GASB chairs to an initial five-year term with the possibility of serving a second five-year term. Vaudt will become chairman when Attmore retires on June 30.
During a conference call with reporters Thursday, Vaudt declined to say exactly what his priorities would be upon assuming the chairmanship of GASB. However, Attmore noted that among the board's main projects are helping state and local govermnents get ready for the implementation of GASB's new pension accounting and financial reporting standards, including offering them implementation guidance. GASB is also working on developing standards for other post-retirement benefits, particularly retiree health care benefits, which have become a growing concern for many goverment entities. GASB has been trying to increase transparency by getting these previously unrecorded obigations onto government financial statements.
"As I take a look at where GASB is going next, I will be getting up to speed over the transition period to look at the projects that are currently underway," said Vaudt. "I’ve been following those, but not as closely as Bob [Attmore] has been. But it definitely will be working closely with the GASB stakeholders, especially the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council, the GASAC. They have a great role helping us identify the issues that are out there, so we’ll be seeking broad input. I’ll be working with the other board members. There are six other board members serving with me. It will be all about we as a team and how we seek that input from our stakeholders and use that to help guide us in what we look at next and how we continue the projects that are already in place."
“We’re very pleased to welcome David Vaudt as the new chairman of the GASB,” said FAF Board of Trustees chairman Jeffrey J. Diermeier in a statement. “David’s extensive experience with and knowledge of the challenging accounting and financial issues facing state and local governments will enable him to continue the strong tradition of leadership and transparency established by our outgoing chairman, Bob Attmore, during his nine distinguished years as head of the GASB.”
Vaudt has served as Iowa’s constitutionally elected auditor of state since January 2003. In that position, he has been responsible for auditing the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report and Single Audit Report. He also has supervised the annual audit of more than 200 Iowa cities, counties, school districts, and other government organizations and agencies.
Previously, Vaudt worked for 25 years in KPMG’s Des Moines office, including 13 years as a partner. He specialized in the office’s government services practice and also served as the office’s human resources and recruiting partner. In the latter roles, he was responsible for conducting the annual reviews and evaluations of managers and staff and for leading the on-campus recruiting effort for audit professional staff. He also served as an instructor for KPMG national governmental accounting and auditing continuing education courses.
When asked if he had any projects he would like to add to GASB's agenda, Vaudt said he did not have any at this time. "It will be a good time for me to step back and see what the GASB board itself has been addressing and look at their agenda, their strategic plan," he said. "We’ll be taking a hard look at those things and working on outreach to all the stakeholders to make sure that we’re addressing all the issues that they’re seeing today."
Vaudt was president of the National State Auditors Association from 2011 to 2012, chair of the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy from 2003 to 2004, and chair of the Iowa Accountancy Examining Board from 1995 to 2002. He also has served on the boards or audit committees of civic or government organizations, including the Better Business Bureau of Iowa, the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers, the Des Moines public school system, the Young Women’s Resource Center, and the Walnut Creek Family YMCA.
Vaudt sees opportunities for applying his experience as Iowa's auditor to his new role. "Definitely my experiences as an elected state auditor have opened my eyes to lots of different areas and issues besides just financial accounting and reporting," he said. "But it will be interesting to bring my experiences here and to transfer some of my skills and some of my knowledge in working with the other GASB board members. I’m really looking forward to working with the other GASB board members, and we as a team coming up with where we go from here."
“All of us at the FAF look forward to working with David as we continue to pursue our objective of more closely aligning the goals and operations of the FAF, the FASB, and the GASB in the months and years ahead,” said FAF president and CEO Teresa S. Polley.