Exactitude and Precision in Accounting Is an Illusion
The American Assembly's Report on the Future of the Accounting Industry
About This Event

In November 2003, fifty-seven specialists in accounting and accounting policy participated in a three-day discussion on the future of the accounting industry. The result of this discussion was broad agreement that major changes were necessary in what accountants are asked to certify and in the public perception of financial statements themselves. As the report noted: “There must be a widespread recognition that the concept of exactitude and precision in an audit is, as The Economist described it, little more than a ‘brittle illusion.’” This conclusion, if embraced by accounting policymakers--the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board--could result in major changes in a key element of the U.S. financial system. This conference will consider the report, its recommendations, and the prospects for change in the role of accountants in the financial reporting process.


9:45 a.m.
10:00 a.m.
Peter J. Wallison, AEI
Roderick M. Hills, Hills & Stern
James Doty, Baker & Botts
Teresa Iannaconi, KPMG
Donald Marron, Joint Economic Committee, U.S. Congress
David Walker, General Accounting Office

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