Former Congressman Joseph DioGuardi (NY-20), the first practicing CPA elected to Congress, spoke to the Yeshiva University Accounting Society last week on the topic of accounting and the federal government, according to YU's official newspaper, The Commentator.

During his talk, DioGuardi focused on the subject of national debt, the basis of his life’s work. DioGuardi served in Congress for a total four years (two terms) with his most notable achievement was authoring the Chief Financial Officers Act, which reformed the way the federal government looks to manage its money.

DioGuardi explained to the audience his thesis that the federal government should switch over to accrual basis accounting, which is required by the SEC for all publicly traded corporations, rather than the cash basis accounting the government currently uses, The Commentator reports. The national debt is currently about $18 trillion, but DioGuardi asserts that the true national debt is really almost triple that, or about $72 trillion, when converted to the accrual basis.

“Most people are not conditioned to believe that the government would impose a debt so onerous,” DioGuardi told the audience. "We have a big problem…we can’t count straight in government,” he continued, regarding the general financial reporting environment.

For the full article, head to the The Commentator's site here.