WMU News

IASB exec talks about corporate responsibility

Aug. 12, 2002

KALAMAZOO -- James J. Leisenring, a member of the International Accounting Standards Board, will take Western Michigan University students behind the accounting scandal headlines when he speaks at the Haworth College of Business Friday, Aug. 16.

The lecture, which is not open to the public, begins at 10 a.m. in Room 1120 of Schneider Hall. Leisenring will discuss the real stories behind the rash of accounting scandals that have thrown the financial world into an uproar and tarnished companies like Enron, WorldCom and Global Crossing. He is expected to discuss a range of issues, including corporate responsibility and the push toward unified worldwide accounting standards.

"The accounting world hasn't been in the spotlight like this since the 1930s," says Dr. Jack Ruhl, chairperson of WMU's Department of Accountancy and organizer of Leisenring's visit. "Jim Leisenring is one of the most powerful people in the business, and he works with many of the big players you're seeing in the media right now, like Harvey Pitt, the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Jim was one of the individuals who drafted the extremely controversial standard for accounting for stock options. This is an excellent chance for our students to hear a first-hand account of this historic time in our profession."

Leisenring, a West Michigan native and WMU alumnus, is the former vice chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the organization that establishes standards of financial accounting and reporting in the United States. His current organization, the London-based International Accounting Standards Board, aims to develop a single set of global accounting standards that would allow financial statements from countries around the world to be easily compared. Leisenring is the IASB's liaison with the FASB.

Before joining the FASB in 1982, Leisenring was a partner and director of accounting and auditing for the Battle Creek-based Bristol, Leisenring, Herkner & Co., now a part of Plante & Moran. During that period, he also served as the chairman of the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of CPAs. A graduate of WMU's master of business administration program, Leisenring served as a member of the University's accounting faculty from 1964-69.

Members of the media may arrange coverage of the lecture or a one-on-one interview with Leisenring by contacting Jessica English in the Office of University Relations at (269) 387-8423 or <jessica.english@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 269 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

Office of University Relations
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5433 USA
269 387-8400