Paulson Names Auditing Group

A trio of finance executives makes the cut, along with four former SEC heavyweights.
Stephen TaubOctober 2, 2007

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced on Tuesday the members of the auditing advisory committee that will recommend ways to strengthen financial reporting and improve the transparency of the auditing profession. Formed in May, the committee will examine auditing industry concentration, financial soundness, audit quality, employee recruitment and retention, in addition to other topics.

The committee members represent a broad range of perspectives, including investors, auditors, large and small public companies, insurance companies, lawyers and regulators. Treasury also selected official observers representing the domestic and international regulatory and policy bodies.

Paulson expects the committee to make recommendations by early summer 2008. Meetings will be open to the public and comments can be filed at the committee’s website.

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Committee members include four one-time luminaries of the Securities and Exchange Commission — former chairman Arthur Levitt, who will serve as a co-chair; former chief accountant Donald T. Nicolaisen, also a co-chair; former chief accountant Lynn E. Turner; and Alan L. Beller, a one-time senior counselor and director of the SEC’s division of Corporation Finance.

Three finance executives were also named to the committee — Richard A. Simonson, the chief financial officer of Nokia Corp.; Sarah E. Smith, controller and chief accounting officer of Goldman Sachs; and Ken Goldman, chief financial officer of Fortinet Inc.

Other members include Timothy P. Flynn, chairman and chief executive officer of KPMG; Paul A. Volcker, former chairman of the board of governors of the Federal Reserve System, and Barry C. Melancon, president and CEO of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

The remaining members are: Amy Woods Brinkley, global risk executive for Bank of America; Mary K. Bush, president of Bush International; H. Rodgin Cohen, chairman of law firm Sullivan & Cromwell; Robert Glauber, lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government; Gaylen R. Hansen, an audit partner at Ehrhardt Keefe Steiner & Hottman PC; Anne M. Mulcahy, chairman and CEO of Xerox; Richard H. Murray, managing director and chief claims strategist at Swiss Re; Gary John Previts, professor of accountancy at Case Western Reserve University; Damon A. Silvers, an associate general counsel for the AFL-CIO; William D. Travis, president and CEO of Bailiwick Data Systems, and Ann Yerger, executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors.

Committee observers include Robert H. Herz, chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board; Mark W. Olson, chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; Zoe-Vonna Palmrose, deputy chief accountant for professional practice in the SEC’s Office of the Chief Accountant; Michel Prada, chairman of the Autorité des Marches Financiers in France, and David Tweedie, chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board.