The U.S. accounting standards board named Leslie Seidman, 48, its permanent chairman following the retirement of Robert Herz on September 30. Seidman had been acting chairman of the Financial Accounting Standards Board since Herz stepped down.
FASB, which sets U.S. accounting rules, has been working with the International Accounting Standards Board to eliminate major differences between the rules American companies follow and those used by most of the rest of the world. Seidman will play a key role in the plan to converge the rules, laying the groundwork for the Securities and Exchange Commission to decide whether U.S. companies should switch to using International Financial Reporting Standards.
Seidman told The Wall Street Journal that convergence is her "top priority," and the group plans to eliminate major differences by June.
She has been a FASB member since 2003 and began her career at Arthur Young & Co. (now Ernst & Young) after getting an accounting degree from New York University. She was also a vice president at JPMorgan where she was responsible for establishing accounting policies for new products, particularly securities and derivatives, the accounting group said.