SEC Names New Chief Accountant

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that its Chief Accountant James Schnurr intends to retire from the agency. In his place, Wesley R. Bricker will take his place. Schnurr began as the SEC’s chief accountant in October 2014.

During his tenure, Schnurr was committed to establishing and enforcing accounting and auditing policy, as well as to improving the professional performance of public company auditors. Under his leadership, the Office of the Chief Accountant has worked to enhance the transparency and relevancy of financial reporting and has worked to ensure that financial statements are credible and presented fairly.

It is worth noting that in April 2016, Schnurr was in a serious bicycle accident and is continuing his rehabilitation from his injuries.

SEC Chair Mary Jo White, commented:

Jim’s extensive accounting and auditing expertise has been invaluable to the Commission. Jim has been a strong leader–encouraging improvement in audit quality and working to facilitate other important goals, including consistent implementation and application of new accounting standards. I am deeply grateful to Jim for his service as the agency’s Chief Accountant. We all wish him the very best as he focuses full-time on his rehabilitation.

As for the successor, Bricker has served as Deputy Chief Accountant for the accounting group since 2015 and Interim Chief Accountant since July 2016. As Chief Accountant, Mr. Bricker will serve as the principal advisor to the Commission on accounting and auditing matters and lead the Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant. He also will be responsible for assisting the Commission with discharging its oversight of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Bricker added:

It is an honor to continue to work on behalf of investors and to lead the talented and dedicated staff of the Office of the Chief Accountant and work together with the accounting and auditing standard setters’ boards and staff. I look forward to continuing to promote improvements to financial reporting, including monitoring that the objectives of existing and new accounting and auditing standards meet the needs of investors for useful and reliable financial reporting information.