“Everyone is convinced that accounting standards are simply too boring and too intricate for anyone to pay attention to.”
Those were the opening remarks of Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., during a House Financial Services subcommittee hearing earlier this year with accounting standards officials. Sherman, a CPA and the chairman of the subcommittee, is absolutely right. To most Americans, accounting is boring and appears too menial to spend time reviewing.
However, when looking at the astonishing impacts accounting standards have on the U.S. and world economy, everyone would be well served to resist glazing over the rules, and pay close attention to what’s brewing in Norwalk, Conn., where the Financial Accounting Standards Board is headquartered.
Paying close attention, however, is not sufficient. FASB is a self-appointed private entity operating with impunity and virtually no supervision from Congress or the federal financial regulators. Congress must act soon to ensure the Securities and Exchange Commission and other financial regulators have proper oversight of this powerful, private-sector organization.
Lack of oversight of FASB has resulted in devastating impacts on the nation’s economy in the past and will continue to do so in the future if safeguards are not enacted soon.