Accounting foundation seeks new CEO
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.
Financial Accounting Foundation CEO Terri Polley.