The Securities and Exchange Commission named Robert Herdman, a former senior partner with Ernst & Young, as its new top accountant.

Herdman will oversee and direct all of the commission’s accountants and accounting-related efforts, and communicates with national and international accounting communities. “In addition, Herdman will lead us in revising and modernizing our accounting and financial disclosure system,” an SEC official said in a statement. “He will also be a principal advisor in developing the U.S.’s policy on international accounting standards.”

Herdman has been a C.P.A. since 1971 and has spent 28 of the last 32 years with Ernst & Young. He is currently vice-chair of the consultancy, overseeing the professional practice of the firm’s Americas Assurance and Advisory Business Services.

At E&Y, he has been the senior partner responsible for the firm’s relationships with the SEC, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

On October 1, 2001, Herdman was to chair the AICPA’s SEC Practice Section Executive Committee. From 1986-1992, he was a member of the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force. Herdman also served on the SEC’s staff as a Professional Accounting Fellow from 1982 to 1984.

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