Regulator, Not Legislator; Legislator, Not Regulator

The establishment of accounting standards is a legislative act.

The enforcement of accounting standards is a regulatory act.

Adjudications on disagreements concerning the enforcement of accounting standards are judicial acts.

What seems to happen is that the legislative, regulatory and judicial elements associated with accounting standards get commingled. One speaks of “regulatory capture“, when advocating why accounting standards should be set by those with accounting expertise. Yet it seems that the accounting expertise need be more associated with the enforcement of accounting standards.

Is an external auditor more of a regulator, acting on behalf of the public, or more of a judge?

Is the judiciary of accounting limited to securities commissions or similar entities?

When courts are involved in disputes as to losses resulting from allegedly negligent or fraudulent accounting practices, are such courts functioning more in appellate roles, relative to an original judgement by auditors?

So much unclear.

Or maybe clear that the complexities of accounting standard-setting, enforcement and review are more vast than appreciated.

About brucelarochelle
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