The PCAOB’s Primary Mission: Improving Confidence in Financial Reporting
An Exclusive CPA Journal Interview with PCAOB Member Bill Gradison

By Mary-Jo Kranacher

JANUARY 2008 - Bill Gradison was appointed by the SEC as a founding member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), and he was reappointed to a full five-year term in August 2004. Gradison previously enjoyed a long career in both the private sector and the U.S. Congress. He has brought his breadth of experience to bear on the difficult issues the PCAOB has faced over the past five years in implementing the mandate given to the board by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. At the PCAOB forum, Auditing in the Small Business Environment, he met with CPA Journal Editor-in-Chief Mary-Jo Kranacher to discuss a variety of issues—the cost of SOX compliance, competition in the audit marketplace, international standards convergence, SOX inspections and enforcement—facing the PCAOB and the accounting profession.

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Publisher's Column

How Much Diversification Is Enough?

How could this happen?” investors ask when they read about market disasters in the headlines. In fact, without the gross failure of investment policy or implementation, they should never happen. Portfolios can be destroyed through a variety of well-known failures. High up on the list is the failure to diversify properly. Diversification is the one free lunch in finance and investment practice, and prudent diversification is a prime responsibility of fiduciaries under common law, UPIA, and ERISA. Diversification first and foremost reduces risk to its lowest possible value. Full Story

Minorities in the Accounting Profession

Congratulations, the accounting profession has gained ground on the medical and legal communities in minority recruiting! A number of years ago, according to the then-available statistics, less than 1% of the CPA profession was African American, Latino, and Asian. Today it’s 8%, consisting of 4% Asian/Pacific Islander, 3% Hispanic, and only 1% African American. Applaud the progress, but more needs to be done, and the issue is even more important than ever. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that, with 100 million ethnic minorities in the United States, about one in three residents is a minority
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SEA Performance Reporting

On the rare occasion that standards setting for governmental accounting and financial reporting gets broad media attention, it is generally for two reasons. The first is when the subject matter is of interest beyond the realms of CPA firms and governmental finance offices. Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Statement 34, Basic Financial Statements—and Management’s Discussion and Analysis—for State and Local Governments, which revamped the blueprint for state and local government financial reports, is a prime example. Full Story

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