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2005 Influencers: 50 Worth Watching

2005 Influencers: 50 Worth Watching

by Rick Turoczy on January 10, 2005

Here’s this year’s roundup of the regulators, watchdogs, corporate leaders and academics who are quietly — and not so quietly — determining the future of accounting and finance.

While many voters cringed at the sharply adversarial tone of the past two presidential elections, pundits pointed out that the closely contested battles at least demonstrated that our electoral process works. A similarly contentious dynamic is currently at play in the world of finance and accounting, although the power wielded by leaders in this realm rarely matches that of the highest-ranking elected officials. “We don’t have a vote at the [legislative] table, so we can only attempt to influence the decisions and process so far,” says Arnold Hanish, chief accounting officer of pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. in Indianapolis. Hanish and a select group of corporate finance executives from six other organizations are exercising their right to influence as members of the standing advisory group which serves as a sounding board and guide for the organization that’s at the epicenter of ongoing change in auditing, accounting and finance: the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB).

The 30-strong membership of the standing advisory group (SAG) also includes pension fund directors, lawyers, academics, governance experts and public accounting professionals. The group meets regularly with the PCAOB to help it set priorities as it develops new auditing standards.

The SAG’s first three meetings have demonstrated that a collision of opposing perspectives can be a positive force for change. “I think we all agree that we’re there to protect the investing community,” Hanish notes. “I think we all realize the impact that the last five years of audit failures and poor management judgment have exerted on the capital markets. And we need to bring investor confidence back to where it was.”

2005 Influencers: 50 Worth Watching

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