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8 The Accounting Profession in the 1980's— Some SEC Perspectives George C. Mead Securities and Exchange Commission* I am very pleased to respond to Howard Stettler's invitation to speak on the topic, as Howard put it, "the SEC's position regarding the accounting profession in 1985." Of course, the response cannot be direct. The Commission has no such "master plan," nor does it desire one, nor would such preconception be wise in these fast-evolving times. However, there are some themes in the actions of the Commission and in the words of Chairman Williams and other SEC spokesmen which are indicative of the Commission's general expectations of and concerns about the profession in the 1980's. There are in my view two underlying themes. The Commission is sincerely committed to the policy of self-regulation by the profession; it is also committed to "active oversight" of the profession. These seemingly contradictory statements will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the Commission's activities and annual reports to Congress, or who follows its relationships with the ASB, FASB, and the SECPS and its Public Oversight Board. Unfortunately, to base very specific predictions about the profession in the 80's on these two features of the present climate would be questionable, even if the prevailing economic and social winds hold steady. Nevertheless, I believe we can take these two themes—that the profession is and should be and will remain a profession and that the SEC will continue its oversight role in helping interpret that which is reasonable in various public expectations for accounting and for business in general—second, add some observations about the climate in which we all operate, and then add some comments on certain areas where change is now occurring or is perceived as necessary—and from all this gain some feeling for the Commission's hopes for the accounting profession in this new decade. The Environment—Economic, Social, Legal, Professional Let me turn now to some comments about the environment in which we find ourselves. First, economic: the combination of inflation, recession, and questionable energy supplies have made the public much more conscious of economic * The Securities and Exchange Commission, as a matter of policy, disclaims responsibility for any private publications by any of its employees. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or of the author's colleagues on the staff of the Commission. 147
|Title||Accounting profession in the 1980's -- Some SEC perspectives|
Mead, George C.
Nichols, Donald R., ed.
Stettler, Howard, ed.
Accounting as a profession
Auditing Symposium V: Proceedings of the 1980 Touche Ross/University of Kansas Symposium on Auditing Problems, pp. 147-158
|Source||Published by: University of Kansas, School of Business|
|Rights||Contents have not been copyrighted|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|