For a man of 68, William McDonough, the ebullient chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, knows how to adroitly soft-shoe his way through a public relations minefield.

In his “maiden voyage” speaking before the accounting profession at last week’s Sarbanes-Oxley conference, the former Federal Reserve president used just the right tincture of boilerplate to controversy when it came to questions from the audience and the press about exactly what official role SOX has left the AICPA to play.

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