Barry Melancon, president and chief executive of the American Institute of CPAs, and a number of other accounting profession luminaries such as Tim Flynn, chief executive at Big Four firm KPMG, have been named to the Treasury Department's new Advisory Committee on the Auditing Profession.The 21-member group will spend roughly a year examining issues facing the auditing profession, including such front-burner topics as audit firm concentration, auditor liability caps, recruiting young people to the profession, the effect of Sarbanes-Oxley and the move toward international standards.

"Clearly, the capital markets of the world are moving toward harmonized international standards, and it's important that our regulatory process matches that evolution," said Melancon.

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson created the committee after a meeting in Washington in March with Melancon and other U.S. business leaders to address competitive and regulatory issues facing the financial markets.

Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt and former SEC chief accountant Donald Nicolaisen will chair the panel, comprised of representatives drawn from the realms of business, regulation, investor rights and academia.

Other panel appointees include: Paul Volcker, former chair of the Federal Reserve; Alan Beller, a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton; Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy; Gary John Previts, a professor of accountancy at Case Western Reserve University; and Ann Yerger, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors.

Committee observers include Robert Herz, chair of the Financial Accounting Standards Board; Mark Olson, chair of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; and Sir David Tweedie, chair of the International Accounting Standards Board.

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