Ac­count­ing foun­da­tion seeks new CEO

The News-Times - - BUSINESS - By Alexan­der Soule [email protected]; 203-842-2545; @ca­soul­man

Af­ter a decade-plus ten­ure lead­ing Fi­nan­cial Ac­count­ing Foun­da­tion, Terri Pol­ley is step­ping down from the Nor­walk or­ga­ni­za­tion that over­sees ac­count­ing stan­dards used by many com­pa­nies, non­prof­its and gov­ern­ment bod­ies.

The non­profit Fi­nan­cial Ac­count­ing Foun­da­tion funds an an­nual bud­get of more than $50 mil­lion through in­dus­try dues and pub­li­ca­tion sub­scrip­tions. With a staff of close to 200 peo­ple and nearly that many more vol­un­teers, FAF acts as an um­brella or­ga­ni­za­tion for the Fi­nan­cial Ac­count­ing Stan­dards Board and the Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ing Stan­dards Board, which de­velop and im­ple­ment changes to Gen­er­ally Ac­cepted Ac­count­ing Prin­ci­ples and align GAAP with in­ter­na­tional stan­dards.

Pol­ley did not set an im­me­di­ate de­par­ture date. John Auch­in­closs be­comes act­ing pres­i­dent while FAF seeks a per­ma­nent CEO, in ad­di­tion to the gen­eral coun­sel role Auch­in­closs has held since 2016. In the pub­lic por­tion of a Fe­bru­ary meet­ing in Nor­walk of its board of trustees, Pol­ley did not note plans to leave, with FAF’s board hav­ing sched­uled its next meet­ing for May 22 in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

The FAF board is chaired by Charles Noski, a di­rec­tor of Nor­walk­based Book­ing Hold­ings who prior to re­tire­ment held chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer roles for AT&T, Northrop Grum­man and Bank of Amer­ica, while serv­ing as vice chair­man of the Char­lotte, N.C.-based bank­ing gi­ant.

The Fi­nan­cial Ac­count­ing Stan­dards Board shares FAF’s Nor­walk of­fices un­der chair Russ Golden and tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor Su­san Cosper, who ear­lier in their ca­reers were part­ners with Deloitte and PwC re­spec­tively. The Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­ing Stan­dards Board is chaired by David Vaudt, a for­mer Iowa state au­di­tor and KPMG part­ner, with David Bean lead­ing GASB’s tech­ni­cal staff.

In com­ments to the trade pub­li­ca­tion Ac­count­ing To­day, an FAF spokesper­son de­scribed as “a tim­ing thing” Pol­ley’s de­ci­sion to leave FAF. Noski, Golden and Vaudt all plan to step down next sum­mer from their chair­per­son roles, with Pol­ley elect­ing to give their re­place­ments free rein to in­stall their own choice to lead FAF and its sub­sidiary boards, while leav­ing the date of her de­par­ture up to them.

Pol­ley made about $700,000 as CEO in 2016, the most re­cent year for which FAF’s an­nual re­port to the In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice is posted on­line. That ranked her only sev­enth for staff com­pen­sa­tion, with Golden tops that year paid more than $1 mil­lion.

Pol­ley spent the large part of her own ca­reer with FASB and FAF, af­ter an ear­lier po­si­tion with Arthur An­der­sen. She told Hearst Con­necti­cut Me­dia in 2015 that when FASB hired her, she had been hold­ing out for a job at an­other com­pany which made its of­fer the day she ac­cepted that of FASB.

She took the FASB job with the ex­pec­ta­tion she would work only a few years there be­fore com­menc­ing a new search for the next rung on the ca­reer ladder. In­stead, she made FASB and FAF her ca­reer, as­cend­ing to pres­i­dent in 2008.

Con­trib­uted photo

Fi­nan­cial Ac­count­ing Foun­da­tion CEO Terri Pol­ley.

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