He responded, “The ratings agencies ended up front and center regarding subprime because they were overdue for the scrutiny. It’s the muddled direction on fair value and the overall economic decline that’s keeping the auditors out of the picture so far. The SEC is looking at fair value but they’re afraid of doing something precipitous. We are going to be in turmoil, and it will be hard to blame auditors for anything, as long as we don’t get a definitive answer.”
Implementation of mandates for XBRL is still strongly in focus. Most companies have accepted the requirement as a given, even though issues such as liability have yet to be resolved. There are also concerns from preparers that the SEC, according to Jim, is still turning a “deaf ear” regarding the functionality of viable software solutions and the need to support and encourage this part of the process.
The political campaigns brought it front and center. I think interest in the issue will continue regardless of gas prices because of a strong generational push. The younger generation is very acutely aware of the threat to economic growth. Seeing the high prices made people feel more vulnerable than they have since the long lines at the gas pump in the 1970’s. I think the full impact is still to be felt.”