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University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Banking and Finance

2004

Accounting Law

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Rules, Principles, And The Accounting Crisis In The United States, William W. Bratton Jan 2004

Rules, Principles, And The Accounting Crisis In The United States, William W. Bratton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Securities Exchange Commission move too quickly ·when they prod the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the standard setter for US GAAP, to move immediately to a principles-based system. Priorities respecting reform of corporate reporting in the US need to be ordered more carefully. Incentive problems impairing audit performance should be solved first through institutional reform insulating the audit from the negative impact of rent-seeking and solving adverse selection problems otherwise affecting audit practice. So long as auditor independence and management incentives respecting accounting treatments remain suspect. the US reporting system holds out no actor plausibly positioned ...