Paul Pacter, the man known
as a ‘go-to’ guy in standard-setting circles, has been appointed to
the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) for a rare
The term will top off an exceptional
standard-setting career for 67-year-old Pacter, whose legacies
include writing both the much lauded IFRS for SMEs and the
controversial IAS 39 Financial Instruments Recognition and
Pacter got his first taste of standard-setting
in 1969 as a “bag carrier” for Charles Hellerson, his boss at KPMG
US predecessor firm Hurdman & Cranstoun.
Hellerson was a member of the Accounting
Principles Board (APB), a predecessor to Financial Accounting
Standards Board (FASB), and Pacter attended meetings with him to
provide technical support.
When the APB was dissolved to form the FASB in
1973, Pacter was a founding staff member. His role at the FASB
included working on FAS No 2 and FAS No 5, which helped define
assets and liabilities within the FASB’s conceptual framework.
Pacter also helped draft the constitution for
the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB), the US public
sector standard setter.
He joined Deloitte Hong Kong in 2000 and
worked with China’s Ministry of Finance to help develop Chinese
That December, Pacter launched the excellent
Deloitte IAS Plus website,
which contains daily updates on changes to standards, regulation
and other accounting developments.
In an interview with The Accountant
last September, Pacter said the times he was most happy was when he
was working on the IAS Plus site.
However, Pacter will likely have to relinquish
control of IAS Plus when he joins the IASB on 1 June as he will
relinquish his part-time role at Deloitte.
Pacter will continue to chair the IASB’s SME
implementation group, which was formed last year to assist
countries introducing IFRS for SMEs.
Pacter’s appointment to the board fills the
vacancy created by the retirement of his good friend Jim Leisenring
at the end of June 2010.
Pacter told The Accountant last year
that Leisenring was one of his favourite dinner companions.
“There is always stimulating conversation when
Jim is there,” he said.
Pacter’s appointment to the IASB might come as
a surprise to many as he had previously said chairing the IASB’s
SME implementation group was likely to be his final role.
Last year, Pacter said his retirement could be
sooner, but not any later, than IASB chair David Tweedie’s June
Pacter has chosen to limit his term on the
IASB to just two years, despite being offered the customary five
Speaking on Pacter’s appointment to the IASB,
Tweedie said his colleague is a “walking encyclopaedia on global
“[Pacter] served as the determined leader of
the development of the IFRS for SMEs, is an expert in both IFRSs
and US GAAP, and in his spare time has run one of the most popular
financial reporting websites on the internet,” Tweedie said.
“He will bring a global perspective and
immense energy to the board.”