Politics In Accounting

The Beginning Of The End Or The Beginning Of A New Era

All lawyers have been criticized and mocked regardless of their true character relentlessly because of the actions of a small number of attorneys who acted in such a way that created the stereotype. Few people remember when or why the criticism of lawyers began, but all of us today may be witness to the beginning of a similar fate for another once respected profession.

The actions of a small group of accountants have placed a black cloud over the profession as a whole so much that the entire industry is in the process of losing its independence to a group of politicians who will refer to themselves as the Accounting Oversight Board. This board, created by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 signed into law on July 30, 2002, will change the way in which accounting principles and standards are created and enforced until such time as they no longer feel oversight is necessary. It is safe to say however that there will not soon come a time when a governmental body finds itself unnecessary and all accountants will have to get used to having the federal government glaring over their collective shoulder and examining every account.

Since the first discussions about a federal oversight board began floating through congress and through the media to the citizens at home there has been much debate as to whether such a board could be established or could be maintained or could be effective or even useful. Yet, while the debate continues the first steps toward the creation of a permanent oversight board have been taken and the implementation is not far off.

This board, in the opinion of many of its opponents will be no better at regulating the accounting industry than the current system of self regulation already in place.

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