Meet Our Financial Statement Users FASB

Sandra J Peters

Sandra J. Peters, CPA, CFA
Acting Chief Financial Officer
and Head, Global Financial Reporting Policy
CFA Institute
New York, New York

“Investors must participate in the process of standard setting to ensure that high-quality information remains a staple of the U.S. capital markets. With the rise in passive investing, many investors take for granted the availability of information in the U.S. capital markets. We believe investors must remain actively engaged in the standard-setting process to ensure this essential ingredient of highly functioning capital markets serves their interests.

“CFA Institute members have actively engaged in the standard-setting process since at least the 1970s — not only because it serves our investor members but because it improves transparency in capital markets for all investors, which is central to our mission.”

Janet Pegg

Janet L. Pegg, CPA
Principal
the jpegg files llc
Maywood, New Jersey

“I worked as an accounting analyst in sell-side research for over thirty years, helping analysts create valuation models and make investment decisions and recommendations. These analysts use the financial results that are provided to them to create models — transforming historical and current results and financial information into forecasts of future results. Those forecasts will only be as good as the informational foundation on which they are built.

“Investment analysts are understandably very busy. But analysts must participate in maintaining the quality and usefulness of the information provided by financial reports — by staying abreast of the FASB’s agenda, reviewing Exposure Drafts, and voicing their opinions.”

Rita Spitz

Rita J. Spitz, CFA
Principal
William Blair & Company
Chicago, Illinois

“The work I do is analyzing companies and their stocks to find appropriate investments for our clients. Having access to financial reports with integrity, consistency, and completeness is a big advantage in understanding the company, so I have greater confidence in knowing what I own and what I should pay for it, if we decide to invest. Our team also uses proprietary, quantitative screens that model our fundamental investment process across a global universe of potential investments. Having high-quality financial reporting as inputs supports the quality, growth, and volatility factors in these models.”

Jeremy Perler

Jeremy Perler
Partner and Director of Research
Schilit Forensics
New York, New York

“There is a direct correlation between the quality of accounting standards and the usefulness of financial reporting. High-quality accounting standards lead investors to have greater trust in the financial markets, which in turn attracts more long-term capital, expands multiples, and promotes stability. They allow us to see through the puffery and better assess the true underlying economics of the business.

“FASB makes clear that its #1 client is the investment community. FASB listens very intently to investors and is always looking for their input in order to counterbalance the strong opinions of preparers and auditors. Investor input is highly valued and very impactful!”

Randall Woods

Randall Woods
Principal/Head of Investing
for Pension Funds
RJW Financial Services
Hinsdale, Illinois

“Without good accounting standards, the market is simply chaos, a place without a common language. Pension funds, college endowments, foundations, and individual wealth and retirement accounts all depend on returns from investments made based on accounting disclosures. Poor or insufficient financial information can create problems for investors and markets. GAAP has to be a known stake in the ground that investors can use in evaluating the intrinsic value of a company.

“The strength of GAAP is that it is not static. There is a constant need for dialogue between the FASB and investors as well as other users of financial statements. As times change, GAAP will have to evolve to meet the constantly changing needs of companies and investors.”

Ryan LaFond

Ryan LaFond
Managing Director
BlackRock
San Francisco, California

“Accounting standards are akin to the speed limit — they are critical to the safety and security of our capital markets. Setting standards without user input would be a little like setting speed limits without taking into account the driver.”

Meet Our Financial Statement Users GASB

Douglas Benton

Douglas Benton
Vice President,
Senior Municipal Credit Manager
Cavanal Hill
Investment Management
Richardson, Texas

“We purchase municipal bonds of local governments all over the U.S. Because of that, financial statements prepared with high-quality accounting standards are invaluable to our investing process. It is our desire that the standards be created using a robust and transparent rulemaking process with input from statement readers like us. We believe that externally-reported financial information that meets these types of standards provides data with a high degree of integrity. Our desire is to have a financial statement that allows comparability from Seattle to Miami and everywhere in-between.”

Ronnie Lowenstein

Ronnie Lowenstein
Director
New York City Independent
Budget Office (IBO)
New York, New York

“We routinely use New York City's comprehensive annual financial reports (CAFR) in our work at IBO. The CAFR's notes provide the explanations behind the numbers. And I find the supplementary schedules — including detail on budgeted versus actual revenues and expenditures — particularly well-organized and accessible.”

Lisa Washburn

Lisa Washburn
Managing Director
Municipal Market Analytics, Inc.
Concord, Massachusetts

“More than ever, access to timely financial statements is a critical component in both the allocation of capital to public-sector entities and secondary market liquidity. GASB standards bring uniformity to the complex and heterogeneous municipal market, enabling investors to understand the reporting entity’s current fiscal situation and grasp the implications of future financial commitments.”

Sharon Kioko

Sharon N. Kioko PhD
Associate Professor
Daniel J. Evans School
of Public Policy and Governance
University of Washington
Seattle, Washington

“Discussions on the financial health of governments continue to focus on budgetary data. However, using retrospective accounting data would elevate budget deliberations and inform on fiscal choices with an eye towards fiscal sustainability. This is especially critical today, as governments continue to operate in challenging environments and with limited resources.”


Karl Jacob

Karl Jacob
Retired Managing Director
Standard and Poor’s
U.S. Public Finance
Boston, Massachusetts

“Enhanced accounting standards provide better clarity and help us better understand a local government's full financial picture. For example, in 2012 when GASB adopted more standardized reporting of pension liabilities and expenses, we saw meaningful benefits in the increased transparency provided by these new statements which helped inform our analysis in evaluating potential budget stresses and the credibility of government managements' plans to address these liabilities.”

Betsy Hill

Elizabeth (Betsy) Hill
Chief Executive Officer
Bright Bay Advisors, LLC
Long Beach, New York

“As a credit and portfolio analyst of municipal debt issuers, I depend on reliable, audited financial reporting to analyze the financial health of state and local governments and their long-term ability to repay their debt and other liabilities. I use the financial reports to evaluate the ability of these governments to remain solvent and liquid and whether they could adjust expenses if revenues should decline, including the reduction in support from other governments. I also review whether the governments are able to build reserves to provide a cushion for possible future financial problems. Reports that follow GASB standards provide the most reliable financial information for my analysis and instill confidence in the reported information.”

Meet Our Financial Statement Users XBRL

Pranav Ghai

Pranav Ghai
Chief Executive Officer
Calcbench, Inc.
New York, New York

“Having high quality information in XBRL format gives us a tremendous edge. We literally get the information within minutes of it being filed.

"One of our customers once filed a 10-Q in EDGAR and then checked Calcbench about 5 minutes later. He found his data there and immediately let us know how effective this was for him. This type of speed simply did not exist prior to the advent of XBRL.”

Alex Rapp

Alex Rapp
President and
Chief Technology Officer
Calcbench, Inc.
New York, New York

“Smart investors understand that in order to do apples to apples comparisons, the quality of the underlying data provides a foundation upon which the rest of the thesis exists. If a sub-par foundation exists, the rest of the analysis isn’t worth the ‘paper’ it is printed on. Investors are always looking for an edge and it starts with high-quality accounting information.”

Emil Efthimides

Emil Efthimides
Global Regulatory Monitor
Bloomberg Global Data
Princeton, New Jersey

“Markets rely on financial statements for insight into the workings of public and private companies. Speed and accuracy are essential — clear rules and good guidance from standard setters help filers meet these goals.”

Jack Ciesielski

Jack Ciesielski
President
R.G. Associates, Inc.
Baltimore, Maryland

“As an analyst and investor, high-quality financial reporting/information matters greatly to me and my contemporaries. ‘High-quality’ financial reporting has consistency to it, so that if you're looking at specific assets on one firm's balance sheet, similar assets will be comparably accounted for on another firm's balance sheet. That’s the important thing that standard setters bring to the table that investors can take for granted. And XBRL should help with that — there's a big promise to fulfill, and there’s been impressive progress in that direction.”