SEC Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting

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SEC Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting
Founded 2007
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Web site

In July 2007, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission chartered the Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting. [1] The Committee's assigned objective is to examine the U.S. financial reporting system in order to make recommendations intended to increase the usefullness of financial information to investors, while reducing the complexity of the financial reporting system for investors, companies and auditors.


The Advisory Committee's charter identifies the following areas of inquiry and established subcommittees to address them:

  • The current approach to setting financial accounting and reporting standards, including: (1) the principles-based versus rules-based standards, (2) the inclusion within standards of exceptions, bright lines, and safe harbors, and (3) the process for providing timely guidance on implementation issues and emerging issues
  • The current process of regulating compliance with accounting and reporting standards
  • The current system for delivering financial information to investors and accessing that information
  • Other environmental factors that drive avoidable complexity, including the possibility of being second-guessed, the structuring of transactions to achieve an accounting result, and whether there is a hesitance by professionals to exercise professional judgment in the absence of detailed rules
  • Whether there are current accounting and reporting standards that do not result in useful information to investors, or impose costs that outweigh the resulting benefits
  • Whether the growing use of international accounting standards has an impact on the relevant issues relating to the complexity of U.S. accounting and reporting standards and the usefulness of the U.S. financial reporting system

The Committee will issue a final report to the SEC Chairman that includes a limited number of focused recommendations it believes can be adopted without legislation. In February 2008, the Committee issued a progress report to identify the proposals, conceptual approaches and matters for future consideration it has developed to date and to encourage public input.

Current Members[edit]

15 individuals comprise the Committee. Each member serves on issue-specific subcommittees.

  • Robert C. Pozen, chairman, MFS Investment Management (Ex-Officio member of all subcommittees)
  • Dennis R. Beresford, Ernst & Young Executive Professor of Accounting, University of Georgia (Standards-Setting Process)
  • Susan S. Bies, former member, Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System (Chairperson, Substantive Complexity)
  • J. Michael Cook, former chairman and chief executive officer, Deloitte & Touche LLP (Chairperson, Audit Process and Compliance)
  • Jeffrey J. Diermeier, CFA, president and chief executive officer, CFA Institute (Chairperson, Delivering Financial Information)
  • Scott C. Evans, executive vice president, Asset Management, TIAA-CREF (Standards-Setting Process)
  • Linda L. Griggs, partner, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP (Audit Process and Compliance)
  • Joseph A. Grundfest, William A. Franke Professor of Law and Business, Stanford Law School (Substantive Complexity)
  • Gregory J. Jonas, managing director, Moody's Investors Service (Audit Process and Compliance)
  • Christopher Liddell, chief financial officer, Microsoft Corp (Delivering Financial Information)
  • William H. Mann, III, senior analyst, The Motley Fool (Delivering Financial Information)
  • G. Edward McClammy, senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, Varian, Inc. (Substantive Complexity)
  • Edward E. Nusbaum, chief executive officer and executive partner, Grant Thornton LLP (Audit Process and Compliance)
  • James H. Quigley, chief executive officer, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu (Standards-Setting Process)
  • David H. Sidwell, chief financial officer, Morgan Stanley (Chairperson, Standards-Setting Process)

These individuals serve as "Official Observers."


  1. Progress Report. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting.