CFO welcomes your letters. Send them to: The Editor, CFO, 253 Summer St., Boston, MA 02210.
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Please include your full name, title, company name, address, and telephone number. Letters are subject to editing for clarity and length.
Your article “Losing Battles” (October), about the Department of Defense, is one of your best. I hope this national security, economic, and financial-management challenge receives such broad coverage in all the financial and management literature in America. CFO magazine has made an important contribution to our national security by leading the way toward full disclosure of the stakes involved.
Lt. Col. Larry Feltes
Rebutting PCAOB Critics
The recent letters to the editor under the heading “Strong Words for the PCAOB” (October) both inappropriately criticize Public Company Accounting Oversight Board chairman William J. McDonough and argue for more of what contributed to the bubble of the 1990s and the subsequent burst in the new millennium. This puts the writers squarely at odds with the majority of the 90 million investors in the U.S. capital markets who sent a clear message to Congress and the President that the status quo was unacceptable, and overwhelmingly demanded changes in our laws. Let’s not forget that that message was loud enough that only 3 out of 535 members of Congress (Senate and House) voted against Sarbanes-Oxley.
Mr. McDonough is now dutifully carrying out the mandate Congress and American investors gave him and his fellow board members. That mandate does not include maintaining the status quo for auditors that led to billion-dollar restatements at all too many companies. The public believes auditors do have a responsibility for finding and reporting such massive frauds, regardless of the level of collusion. In fact, when I was chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, all too often I saw auditors who had found the problems but then failed to adequately resolve them.
I believe Mr. McDonough is concerned that when such events occur, investors’ confidence in the markets is negatively impacted in a manner that hurts not only investors and the markets but also our economy. He is right on as he stated in his interview (“The Enforcer,” August), and his fellow board members and PCAOB staff are to be commended for the progress they have made while also getting a new organization up and running. While a lot remains to be done, the train is getting back on the tracks and is heading in the right direction.
Lynn E. Turner