For some reason, coinciding with the arrival of summer, it seems like everywhere I turn in the accounting world, there's been a flurry of hiring news across every level of the industry.
Two accountant friends recently completed their latest round of pinball between Big Four firms after having taken brief, and ultimately, unsatisfying forays into the tax departments of private companies. The Internal Revenue Service just announced a trio of internal promotions to plug openings in three different departments across its own ranks. And I recently wrapped up an article about non-cash employee incentives for the upcoming July issue of the quarterly publication SMB Finance that our editorial group puts out -- the companies whose programs I detailed have voluntary turnover of less than 10 percent, but that still keeps their human resource departments busy.
I won't even begin to recount the myriad number of press releases that crossed my desk in June, detailing hirings and promotions across the country. And, I should probably note, all I have to do is look around the office to see a couple of accounting reporter openings (visit http://www.sourcemedia.com/careers.html if you've always dreamed of getting into accounting news, or just of becoming my colleague).
In the past week alone, two high-profile hirings in the accounting world have grabbed a lot of ink -- confirmation hearings for Goldman Sachs chairman and chief executive Henry Paulson's nomination for Treasury secretary got underway, and Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox announced that Federal Reserve Board Governor Mark Olson will take over the reins of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in July.
There's never any guarantees with any new hire, but what's been especially encouraging it that no matter where I turned for comment for my own stories, what article I read in other publications, or what detailing of both Paulson and Olson's credentials I flipped through, there seemed to be a belief that these were both the right men for the job at hand.
Olson in particular will face a number of battles right out of the gate, and has taken an optimistic tone out of the gate, saying repeatedly that he hopes the bulk of his work at the PCAOB will be as a regulator first, and an enforcer when needed. Olson steps in at a politically perilous time for the board -- many business interests are forcefully lobbying for a repeal of Sarbanes-Oxley's internal controls provisions for smaller public companies, and a lawsuit has been filed questioning the PCAOB's own constitutionality.
All signs point to Olson having the right blend of experience and political savvy to guide the infant agency. Here's hoping that from Year Four through Year Nine of the Sarbanes-Oxley implementation, his job performance reviews stay just as positive.
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