The Securities and Exchange Commission has named Paul A. Beswick as acting chief accountant in the Office of the Chief Accountant, succeeding James Kroeker, who left the SEC last Friday.
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In his new role, Mr. Beswick will oversee accounting interpretations, international accounting matters, and professional practice issues. The announcement came on the heels of the SEC’s release of a final staff report Friday on International Financial Reporting Standards, detailing the pros and cons of using IFRS in the U.S. (see SEC Releases Staff Report on IFRS Work Plan). Beswick, formerly the deputy chief accountant at the SEC, assisted Kroeker in preparing the work plan over the past two and a half years. He is credited with coining the word, “condorsement,” to describe a combination of convergence and endorsement.
Since joining the SEC in September 2007, Beswick has fulfilled a number of key roles in the Office of the Chief Accountant. Most recently, as deputy chief accountant, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office's accounting group, including resolution of accounting practice issues, rulemaking, and oversight of private sector standard-setting efforts.
Beswick also served as staff director of a multi-year effort to help the Commission evaluate the implications of incorporating International Financial Reporting Standards into the financial reporting system for U.S. companies. The effort was begun in February 2010 and a final staff report was published last Friday.
"I am delighted to welcome Paul as our Acting Chief Accountant," said SEC chair Mary L. Schapiro in a statement. "Paul's experience at the Office of the Chief Accountant and his knowledge of the profession will help him to lead the office and continue to counsel the Commission on critical accounting questions."
Prior to joining the SEC staff, Beswick was a partner with Ernst & Young LLP, where he worked in the firm's Professional Practice and Risk Management Group. Beswick previously served as a practice fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board from July 2005 to June 2007.
The Center for Audit Quality congratulated Beswick on his promotion. “The CAQ applauds Jim Kroeker for his service as SEC chief accountant,” said CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “He provided steady and thoughtful leadership on accounting and auditing issues during his tenure. We wish Jim the best as he moves into the next phase of his career. We also congratulate Paul Beswick on his appointment as Acting Chief Accountant. While he has ‘big shoes’ to fill, Paul’s leadership on the IFRS Staff Work Plan and contributions to critical accounting and auditing issues are strong indications that he will serve the Commission well. We look forward to working with Paul in his capacity of acting chief accountant.”