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May 10, 2010

CAQ and AICPA criticise Brown amendment

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and five other industry groups have asked the US Senate to avoid actions that would impact the independence of accounting standard-setting.

The Senate is expected to consider reforms to the US financial system this week as part of the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010.

The seven organisations said they are concerned about amendments that would legislate certain requirements within accounting standards, impeding public due process and politicising standard-setting.

This includes the Brown amendment SA 3853 regarding financial reporting, which would introduce legislative requirements for how entities report assets and liabilities.


Legitimacy concerns

In a letter to four Senators – Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, Christopher Dodd and Richard Shelby – the group said accounting standards derive their legitimacy from the confidence that they are established, interpreted and modified based on independent, objective considerations that focus on the needs and demands of investors.

“We believe political influences that dictate one particular outcome for an accounting standard without the benefit of a public due process that considers the views of investors and other stakeholders would have adverse impacts on investor confidence and the quality of financial reporting, which are of critical importance to the successful operation of the US capital markets,” they wrote.


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