Monday, September 19, 2011

Beta Alpha Psi to host conference to address proposed adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards

James Leisenring
Accountants in the region will gather to learn about a proposal to adopt the International Financial Reporting Standards from accounting experts who are setting those standards. The day-long conference will take place on the campus of Western Michigan University in late October.

James Leisenring, MBA’64, senior advisor, Financial Accounting Standards Board, will discuss the proposal that would integrate the IFRS and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) standards into a single-set of high quality standards. 

James Kroeker, chief accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission, will share insight on the potential convergence from the perspective of the SEC.

James Kroeker
Hosted by the WMU Gamma Rho Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi, in conjunction with WMU’s Haworth College of Business, the IFRS conference, titled “What you need to know now!” will take place on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Fetzer Center. Participants can receive eight credit hours of continuing professional education recognized by the State of Michigan for attendance at the event.

Key speakers, topics and highlights include:

·         8:10 a.m. -  James Leisenring, Senior Advisor, Financial Accounting Standards Board, “History and Update of Convergence”
·         8:50 a.m. – Ron Edmonds, Vice-President and Controller, The Dow Chemical Company, “SEC Registrant Perspective”
·         10:10 a.m. – James Kroeker, Chief Accountant, Securities and Exchange Commission, “SEC Discussion on IFRS”
·         10:55 a.m. – Dr. Roger Tang, WMU Professor of Accountancy and Upjohn Chair of Business Administration, “Major Differences between IFRS and GAAP”
·         12:40 a.m. – James Leisenring, “Technical Project Updates”
·         1:25 p.m. – David Schmid, Partner, Transaction ServicesAccounting and Financial Reporting, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP,  “Preparing Within the Core Practice of Assurance”
·         2:45 p.m. - Dr. Ola Smith, WMU associate professor of accountancy, will moderate a question and answer session.

Mike Eubanks, conference coordinator and president of BAP, says the goal of the conference is “for participants to gain insight and get familiar with some of proposed changes as it pertains to potentially adopting the international standards. The program will provide practical information to all levels of participants.

“In addition to professional accountants, we are inviting students from area business schools to participate in the day’s events,” says Eubanks. “We are targeting students at the senior and master level at WMU and surrounding universities.”

“The Beta Alpha Psi officers have spent much time and effort planning the conference,” says Dr. Don Gribbin, chair, Department of Accountancy. “The organization has demonstrated great initiative in this undertaking.” 

Registration for the event is required by Wednesday, Oct. 12. For further information or to register, visit: . The registration fee is $299 for professional accountants and the event is free for students.

About Beta Alpha Psi
Beta Alpha Psi is an international honorary organization for financial information professionals. The WMU Gamma Rho Chapter is a vital campus organization of men and women accounting majors. While membership implies past academic achievements, emphasis in the organization is on professional development of members and the advancement of the profession. Active involvement is required and helps prepare accounting students for the leadership roles they will assume during their careers. Social activities provide a “lighter” side to campus life.

About the IFRS
The IFRS Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit private sector organization working in the public interest. Its principal objectives are:

·         To develop a single set of high quality, understandable, enforceable and globally accepted international financial reporting standards (IFRSs) through its standard-setting body, the IASB;

·         To promote the use and rigorous application of those standards.

·         To take account of the financial reporting needs of emerging economies and small and medium-sized entities, and
·         To bring about convergence of national accounting standards and IFRS to high quality solutions.

To learn more about the IFRS, visit: .

Key Speaker Bios

James Leisenring, MBA '64
Senior Advisor
Financial Accounting Standards Board
James Leisenring has spent his professional life literally “setting the standard.”  He began doing so as partner and director of accounting and auditing for Bristol, Leisenring, Herker & Co., in his hometown of Battle Creek, Mich; the firm is now a part of Plante & Moran.   During his tenure at Bristol, Leisenring, Herker & Co., he was active in the American Institute of CPAs and served as the chair of its Auditing Standards Board as well as a member of many other institute committees.  He became known for not only his knowledge of the field, but also for his sound judgment and business acumen.  

In 1982 he joined the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), a private, not-for-profit organization that develops generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that are in the best interest of the public.  His first post was as director of research and technical activities, and he later became chair of the Emerging Issues Task Force when it was developed in 1984.  In 1987 he became a member of the FASB Board and was appointed vice chair in 1988.  He also served as chair of the FASB Derivatives Implementation Group and the FASB Financial Instruments Task Force.

Leisenring was appointed to the International Accounting Standards Board to be its liaison member to the FASB in 2001.  At that time, he was serving as the director of international activities at FASB.

Recognition of Leisenring's contributions to the field of accounting has come in numerous forms.  He has been named a Distinguished Alumni Award winner at both Albion College and Western Michigan University.  In 2003, he was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of accounting. He serves frequently as an expert in the area of accounting standards for conferences and for the media.

James Kroeker
Chief Accountant
Securities and Exchange Commission
James Kroeker is the chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, where he oversees accounting interpretations, professional practice issues, and international accounting matters. 

Previously, Kroeker served as Acting Chief Accountant and guided the day-to-day operations of the SEC's Office of Accountant. He served as staff director of the SEC's Congressionally mandated study of fair value accounting standards, and led the efforts of the Office of the Chief Accountant to address the economic turmoil, including steps to improve off-balance sheet accounting standards.

Prior to joining the SEC as deputy chief accountant in 2007, Kroeker was a partner in the Deloitte and Touche LLP, National Office Accounting Services Group. At Deloitte, he was responsible for providing consultation and support regarding the implementation, application, communication and development of accounting standards, including disclosure and reporting matters.

Kroeker also served as a Practice Fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, where he assisted in the development of accounting guidance related to evolving accounting issues.

Prior to joining Deloitte's national office, Kroeker was responsible for the audits of financial statements of several large national and multinational public companies and consulted with clients on technical accounting issues, coordinated the firm's work related to clients' mergers and acquisitions, and conducted special projects for the firm.

Kroeker received a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in accounting from the University of Nebraska.