FASB at Full Strength

The Financial Accounting Foundation taps Marc Siegel to join the board.
Alan RappeportSeptember 26, 2008

The Financial Accounting Foundation has appointed Marc Siegel, previously of the accounting research and analysis team at RiskMetrics Group, as the newest member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Siegel, an expert in forensic accounting, replaces George Batavick, the ex-comptroller of Texaco, whose term ended June 30. His work has focused on revealing flawed accounting practices and improving transparency for investors. Siegel’s term begins on October 20 and ends on June 30, 2013.

“His investor perspective, along with his auditing, research, and international expertise, will aid in the fulfillment of our mission as well as our many investor-focused goals,” says Robert Denham, FAF chairman.

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Siegel has worked with FASB before. In January 2007, he was appointed to the board’s Investor Technical Advisory Committee, which solicits input from investors and other users of financial information in the standard-setting process. The committee was created as an effort to gain insight and input from users of accounting statements.

“It’s truly an exciting time in our history to be joining an organization such as FASB,” Siegel told in an E-mail.

FASB’s newest board member will have some complicated work cut out for him, as convergence with international accounting standards, a renewed debate over the use of fair-value accounting, and changes to financial statements are under way. Siegel discussed some of the challenges FASB is facing in an interview with CFO magazine last year.

“There are definitely too many cooks in the kitchen,” he said. “There’s way too much lobbying going on in Washington in an effort to influence accounting rules. I’m afraid this is turning into a turf war.”

Prior to his work at RiskMetrics, Siegel was the managing director for global research at the Center for Financial Research and Analysis and worked for 10 years in auditing and forensic accounting for Arthur Andersen.

“Marc has planned and performed numerous worldwide audit engagements for clients, which will bring valuable international experience to our ongoing efforts with the International Accounting Standards Board,” says FASB chairman Robert Herz.

Siegel has written for such publications as the CPA Journal and the Journal of Accountancy on topics ranging from options backdating to accounting tricks used in cash-flow statements to recovering embezzled assets in foreign countries. A frequent television commentator on CNBC, he holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.