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Wesley Bricker Is Stepping Down As SEC Chief Accountant

This just in from the SEC:

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Wesley R. Bricker, Chief Accountant, plans to leave the agency after more than six years of distinguished service.

Mr. Bricker was named as the SEC’s Chief Accountant in 2016, after serving as the deputy chief accountant. Earlier, he served as a professional accounting fellow.

Also just in from the SEC:

The Securities and Exchange Commission today named Sagar Teotia as the SEC’s Acting Chief Accountant following the departure of Wesley R. Bricker in June.

Since 2017, Mr. Teotia has served as Deputy Chief Accountant, leading the accounting group. As Acting Chief Accountant, Mr. Teotia will serve as the principal advisor to the Commission on accounting and auditing matters and will lead the Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant. He also will be responsible for assisting the Commission with discharging its oversight of the Financial Accounting Standards Board and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Wesley Bricker

Bricker took over as chief accountant in November 2016 from James Schnurr, who sustained serious injuries in a bicycle crash near his home in Jupiter, FL, in April of that year. Schnurr, who broke his neck in the accident and is now a quadriplegic, was recently awarded $41 million in damages by a Palm Beach County jury.

The SEC didn’t give a reason why Bricker was stepping down or what his future plans might be.

In the release, the SEC highlighted many, and I mean many, of Bricker’s accomplishments as SEC chief accountant. Here are a handful:

  • Advanced accounting and auditing policy and improved the professional performance of auditors domestically and internationally through policy-making, interpretative, consultative, and outreach activities.
  • Emphasized the role of audit committees of listed public companies in financial reporting and external auditor oversight.
  • Emphasized the importance of independent directors or independent advisory council members with meaningful governance responsibilities for the largest and most complex U.S. audit firms to foster audit quality and bolster public confidence.
  • Worked with the FASB in overseeing the identification and resolution of implementation issues related to new accounting standards such as revenue recognition, leasing, current expected credit losses, investments in equity securities, and improvements to hedging activities.
  • Developed recommendations regarding auditor independence and a framework for reporting and disclosing the income tax accounting implications of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
  • Worked to strengthen the PCAOB in its mission and operations, including recommending approval for the most substantial changes in the auditor’s report in over seven decades, among numerous other initiatives to enhance the quality of audit services for public companies and broker-dealers.
Sagar Teotia

Bricker is a Big 4 refugee, having joined the SEC in 2015 from PwC, where he was partner responsible for audit engagements in the banking, capital markets, financial technology, and investment management sectors before leaving P. Dubs. He served as a professional accounting fellow in the SEC Office of the Chief Accountant from 2009 to 2011.

Teotia is also an ex-Big 4 accountant, having joined the SEC in 2017 from Deloitte, where he was a partner in Deloitte’s National Office and was responsible for providing consultation regarding accounting matters.

He, too, served as a professional accounting fellow in the Office of the Chief Accountant from 2009 to 2011.