Robert Herz, the former chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, who retired unexpectedly last fall, has found a new job: senior advisor at WebFilings, a company that provides technology for SEC financial filings.
“I’ve long been an advocate of making better use of technology in the financial reporting process,” Herz said in a statement. He called the company’s technology “a breakthrough technology solution that will truly benefit preparers of financial reports, and has the potential to transform the reporting process.”
Herz chaired FASB from July 2002 through September 2010, about two years before the expiration of his second term. He was succeeded by Leslie Seidman, who has taken a more accommodating approach to controversial matters such as the valuation of impaired bank loans, which Herz had wanted to be accounted for at fair value.
Herz gave no reason at the time of his retirement for his abrupt departure from the accounting standard-setting board, but he was expected to contribute his deep knowledge of accounting and the standard-setting process to corporations dealing with regulation. His decision to become an advisor to a technology startup is the first sign of his new career.
“I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the WebFilings team and associate myself with such an innovative company,” said Herz. “The WebFilings collaborative solution is a huge leap forward for financial reporting – a pioneering technology platform that takes a holistic approach to streamlining financial reporting.”
WebFilings is a privately held company based in Los Altos, Calif., and Ames, Iowa, that develops and markets Web-based software dedicated to meeting SEC reporting requirements. Using the company’s cloud computing technology, reporting teams will be able to collaborate on financial reports in real time, working on processes from accounting close through SEC acceptance, including integrated EDGAR HTML conversion and XBRL mapping and tagging.
The company reported last fall that it has raised $24 million in two rounds of funding so far. Its customers and potential customers include United Airlines and Winnebago Industries. WebFilings has several other prominent people listed as members of its advisory board, including Eugene S. Katz, a retired partner and board member at Herz's old firm PricewaterhouseCoopers; Steven Rosston, the managing director of Glynn Capital Management; philanthropist William A. Van Orsdel; and Michael M. Crow, the president of Arizona State University and chairman of In-Q-Tel, a venture capital firm that funds new technology for the CIA.
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