News About Colleagues

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  • Deirdre Harris
    Michael Kraten on LIBOR, Accounting and the Public Interest11
    news item posted November 13, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, general news 
    Michael Kraten on Libor, Accounting and the Public Interest

    Since the London interbank offered rate (LIBOR) scandal was brought to light months ago, Michael Kraten’s research work has been an important source of information for high-profile media sources including: Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and The Wall Street Journal. Even the UK House of Commons discussed the study.

    Rosa M. Abrantes-Metz, Michael Kraten, Albert D. Metz and Gim Seow co-authored “LIBOR Manipulation?”. The authors used their combined expertise in forensic accounting, econometric tools and capital markets to analyze the Libor rates for their article written in 2008.

    “We found that there were unusual patterns in the way that individual banks were submitting quotations that were being utilized to calculate LIBOR. There should be a fair amount of randomness; we failed to see those periods of randomness for an extended amount of time,” Kraten said.

    There were periods of time when the quotations would not fluctuate at all, not even by even a tiny basis point or two. The rate should reflect the banks’ underlying financial strength, which varies day by day, he said.

    There were other periods of time when the rate would fluctuate but not in the direction that the business environment would predict that it would fluctuate, said Kraten. For instance, in the middle of the financial crisis, when global financial markets were doing poorly, the rate would show that the banks were actually strengthening financially.

    The authors made it clear that they did not have proof. There was no way they could look at the quotations and know if the banks were having secret discussions, Kraten said. At the time the academic authors found trends in the data that raised the question whether price fixing might be occurring. They were concerned that there might be illegal manipulation going on based on their quantitative analysis.

    In 2010, Kraten presented their findings at the Public Interest Section’s midyear meeting, which helped increase exposure.

    Fast forward to mid-2012, when news broke that American regulatory agencies found certain email messages from global financial company, Barclays, that did indicate illegal conversations were occurring.  

    It was an American regulator called the Commodities Futures and Trading Commission (CFTC) that went public with the scandal by declaring Barclays guilty of manipulation of the rate and enforcing a $450 million dollar fine.

    On June 28, 2012, Ben Gummer, a member of the UK House of Commons, mentioned a paper circulated around New York University that “raised the issue of manipulation of LIBOR.” You can read the transcript HERE under column 480. 

    “What I suspect happened is that our paper here was first revealed, or first disclosed, if you will, on the floor of the House of Commons during this parliamentary debate, and then people started to ask questions, curiously, about what this paper was, who wrote it and what it said,” said Kraten.

    Colleagues encouraged Kraten to go on the record with recommendations. Kraten co-writes a blog with his wife, Maureen Kraten. The blog is called AQPQ. Micheal Kraten wrote a blog entry called “LIBOR and the Public Interest” and made two recommendations. He said the numbers should be audited, and Britain may want to create a government oversight agency that is similar to the PCAOB to oversee the accounting and the auditors.

    Four days after Kraten’s blog entry posted, Brian Mairs of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) posted a comment on the blog stating that Kraten had a factual error in his blog post. The BBA collects data and manages the calculation of the LIBOR rate. Mairs wrote that Kraten had stated that the BBA sets LIBOR. Kraten replied that he never said that the BBA sets the rate, and he agrees that the BBA obtains the information from other banks.

    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a series of letters between Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York at the time, and Bank of England Governor Mervyn King, proving that the American government knew about problems with LIBOR in 2008. Privately, Geithner gave a set of six major recommendations including that independent accountants needed to audit the Libor rate.

    “As far as I knew, I was the first person to publicly call for external auditors auditing the LIBOR rate. As it turns out, the treasury secretary was privately calling for the same thing for the last four years,” Kraten said.

    We now know that there was significant correspondence between the major American and British regulators. Geithner says that because it was a British matter under British jurisdiction all he could do was bring his concerns to the Bank of England’s attention and make recommendations. King’s response is that Geithner only gave recommendations and observations without any proof of wrongdoing.

    Kraten speculates that they felt that coming out publicly during the financial meltdown with this major global scandal could have shattered public confidence in the banking system.

    Colleagues have asked Kraten if he has spoken with regulators or received offers to speak at banking trade association conferences, but he had not engaged in any conversations with regulators prior to this interview.

    “We are trying as hard as we can to keep the issue alive, to keep our recommendations alive, and to move forward from simply being able to identify that there was a problem, which is what we did in our original paper, to trying to get people to hear our prescriptive solutions that we are proposing.”

    Kraten said that as “guardians of the public trust” it is important for the members of the American Accounting Association to focus on the question: “What should we do to proactively reform the system so that it is operating in the public interest?”

    Michael Kraten is the luncheon speaker for the Public Interest Section Mid-Year Meeting in New Orleans in March 2013.

    -- Lindsay Peters, AAA

  • Judy Cothern
    Kathleen Lorraine Casper5100%
    memorial posted August 25, 2014 by Judy Cothern, tagged 2014, memorial 
    Oct. 10, 1950 - Aug. 14, 2014
    Kathleen Lorraine Casper

    On August 14, 2014, the American Accounting Association lost one if its own:  Kathy Casper. Many of you got to know Kathy during her 16 years with the Association.  As the Web and Database Project Manager, she was instrumental in moving us into the 21st century.  In fact, she worked on early web pages and independently designed, developed and implemented our annual meeting system, enhancing it annually based on the feedback she received from the many volunteers who worked with her. She also implemented the new segment meeting system that was introduced over the past year.

    Outside of work, Kathy was very active in the Faith Lutheran Church where she provided service in many ways.  Having done missionary work in Haiti in 2005, Kathy was devoted to fundraising for Haitian children's education and care.  She was also a passionate writer, publishing many articles and poetry.

    Kathy’s quick wit, creativity, broad smile and kind heart will be deeply missed by all who knew her.  If you have memories of Kathy you’d like to share with her sister and three daughters, please email them to  Additionally, in Kathy’s honor, charitable donations can be made to the Faith Lutheran Church for the Haiti Fund care of Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Road, Sarasota, FL. 

  • Deirdre Harris
    William Wager Cooper 1914-20121
    memorial posted June 25, 2012 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2012, memorial 
    William W. Cooper was born on July 23, 1914 in Birmingham, Alabama and died on June 20, 2012 in Austin, Texas.  He grew up in a rough neighborhood in Chicago. After his father became ill, he had to drop out of high school to support his family, and he worked at a variety of odd jobs, including as a professional boxer.  His record:  58 wins, 3 losses, and 2 draws. 
    Eric L. Kohler, an Arthur Andersen & Co. partner who taught accounting at Northwestern University, picked Bill up as a hitch-hiker one day on his way to another of his jobs, as a golf caddie.  Kohler soon became his mentor and friend, and he loaned him the money to enter the University of Chicago.  While at the university, he became friends with fellow student Herbert A. Simon. In 1938, he received an A.B. degree, majoring in economics, and he then accompanied Kohler to the Tennessee Valley Authority, where Kohler served as Comptroller. Bill assisted him by applying his analytical skills to developing the TVA’s required auditing systems and procedures.
    In 1940, Bill entered the Ph.D. program in business at Columbia University. After completing the coursework in two years, his research was so advanced for its day that his thesis committee could not judge, and would not approve, his thesis.  As Bill later said, he “fought the committee to a draw.”  In 1942, Bill again followed Kohler, this time to U.S. Bureau of the Budget to help with the war effort, where he was put in charge of all the government’s accounting-related statistics.   
    In May 1944, he met Ruth, his future wife, in Washington, DC.
    After a brief return to the University of Chicago, Bill joined the Carnegie Institute of Technology (today Carnegie Mellon University) in 1946.  Together with George Leland (Lee) Bach and Herbert Simon, he was one of the founding fathers of Carnegie Tech’s Graduate School of Industrial Administration (now the Tepper School of Business).  They pioneered a scientific, interdisciplinary approach to business education, eventually with Ford Foundation support, that is now the norm in leading business schools, and their effort was a key intellectual driver in the development of CMU. 
    From the outset, Bill espoused the need for problem-driven research.  Together with long-term collaborator Abraham Charnes, he developed important new mathematical techniques (for example, goal programming, chance-constrained programming, and data envelopment analysis) in the search of solutions to particular applied problems. Their work created a new field, called management science, and Bill was the founding president of The Institute of Management Sciences (which is now part of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences).  In 1968, he became the first dean of CMU’s School of Urban and Public Affairs (now Heinz College). 
    From 1975 to 1980, he was the Arthur Lowes Dickinson Professor at the Harvard Business School, where he developed and supervised an improved Ph.D. program.  In 1980, George Kozmetsky, the dean of the business school at the University of Texas at Austin, hired Bill as the Foster Parker Professor of Management, Finance and Accounting, thus bridging three departments. He became emeritus in 1993. Throughout his career, he advised numerous Ph.D. students, including Andrew Stedry, Andrew Whinston, and Yuji Ijiri at Carnegie Mellon, Rajiv Banker at Harvard, and Ramayya Krishna at UT-Austin.
    Bill was an immensely prolific researcher, even in the last years of his life.  Of his more than 545 scientific publications, 35 were in accounting and auditing.  In 1981, he became the founding editor of the Auditing Section’s new journal, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory.  In 1988, the Section gave him its distinguished service award.  In 1985, he was one of the influential voices behind the founding of Accounting Horizons. In 1986, he served as the AAA’s Distinguished International Visiting Professor in Latin America. He received the AAA’s Outstanding Accounting Educator Award in 1990, and in 1995 he was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame.
    Bill received numerous other awards for his research and academic leadership, including the esteemed John von Neumann Theory Prize in 1982, together with Charnes and Richard Duffin.
    Together with Ijiri, in 1979 Bill edited a collection of papers in honor of his mentor: Eric Louis Kohler: Accounting’s Man of Principles. Also together with Ijiri, in 1983 he compiled and edited the sixth edition of Kohler’s Dictionary for Accountants.
    Bill had a wide expanse of knowledge, and he could talk intelligently on any subject raised in conversation, whether in science, the arts, philosophy, sports, business, or politics. And he always made others feel as if they were on his level.  He cared intensely about people and ideas, and he was always in search of ways to improve the human condition.
    Until the last weeks of his life, Bill would come to the office every day to pursue his research.
    His wife Ruth, a lawyer and advocate of human rights, died in 2000 after 55 years of marriage. He is survived by his brother Leon and his sister Emilie.  In addition, he leaves behind numerous former students and colleagues who came to regard Bill and Ruth Cooper as their godparents.

    --Jonathan C. Glover

    --Yuji Ijiri

    --Stephen A. Zeff

  • Deirdre Harris
    Task Force Finalizes Curriculum to Bridge ‘Skills Gap’1IMA_MAS Task Force Update_1 15 13_Final.doc
    news item posted January 22, 2013 by Deirdre Harris, tagged 2013, general news 
    January 15, 2013

    Two thought leaders in accounting education, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) and AAA’s (American Accounting Association) Management Accounting Section (MAS), are working to bridge the gap between the skills currently provided in accounting education and those required in practice. Ultimately, these skills translate to greater business performance and shareholder protection.

    The IMA-MAS Curriculum Task Force presented its initial recommendations on January 12 at the 2013 Management Accounting Section Research and Case Conference in New Orleans, La. The presentation featured a transformational integrated accounting educational framework relevant to all accounting students.

    “This achievement reflects IMA’s longstanding commitment to education reform and to addressing the talent shortage in management accounting,” said Raef Lawson, Ph.D., CMA®, CPA, IMA vice president of research, who serves as Task Force chair. “Accounting curricula must embrace how accountants today add organizational value in a variety of organizational settings, including content on strategy formulation and analysis, planning, and execution.”

    The task force’s charge of developing a comprehensive integrated educational framework is responsive to recommendations made by the Pathways Commission, on which IMA has a representative. The Commission was formed in 2010 as a joint initiative between AAA and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants to study the future of accounting education.

    IMA’s research initiatives aimed at addressing the skills gap date back to 1986 with its contributions to the AAA’s Bedford Report, “Future Accounting Education: Preparing for the Expanding Profession,” which examined accounting education and found a severe gap between what accounting educators teach and what organizations need from their accounting and financial staff.

    To access Dr. Lawson’s presentation from the conference, visit:

    About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)

    IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about IMA, please visit

    About AAA (American Accounting Association)

    The American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia. Founded in 1916, we have a rich and reputable history built on leading-edge research and publications. The diversity of our membership creates a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation. Collectively, we shape the future of accounting through leading-edge research, education, publications, and a powerful network, ensuring our position as thought leaders in accounting. For more information about the AAA, please visit

  • Steven J Huddart
    Charles R. Enis
    memorial posted December 9, 2015 by Steven J Huddart, tagged memorial 
    September 15, 1946 - November 25, 2015
    Charles Enis at Nationals Park, the home ballpark of his beloved Washington Nats

    Professor Charles R. Enis, a faculty member for 34 years at the Smeal College of Business of The Pennsylvania State University, died of cancer at his home on November 25. He was 69.
    Charles was an expert in taxation, public policy, and judgment and decision-making in accounting.
    He was born in Baltimore and earned his undergraduate, MBA, and doctoral degrees, all from the University of Maryland.  He was also a CPA. He joined Penn State in 1981.
    He authored over ninety publications, including more than thirty articles in scholarly journals such as Accounting, Organizations, and Society; Decision Sciences; the Journal of Accounting Research; and the Journal of the American Taxation Association.
    Charles was devoted to his students and would try to involve them in tax law considerations drawn from his own life.  He loved to vacation in Ocean City, MD, had a home there, and drove a 1973 Eldorado convertible.  These facts were prominent in the tax cases he wrote for his students to analyze.  Were improvements to the vacation property tax deductible? How many days could the property be rented in year without attracting tax?
    Ed Ketz remembers Charles as a walking encyclopedia of tax knowledge. For any tax question, Charles knew the answer, the relevant code section, and even the form.
    Charles’ encyclopedic knowledge extended to three other subjects: baseball, pharmaceuticals, and ballroom dancing.  He was a lifelong Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals supporter and a hard-playing member of the Smeal Accounting Department's softball team.  He served as a pharmacy specialist in the Army and Army Reserve at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. And, he loved ballroom dancing with Gloria.
    Many of us were able to pay our respects at the Indiantown Gap National Cemetery were Charles was buried with military honors.  Others gathered at his favorite bar, Otto’s in State College, to swap our many stories about Charles.
    He is survived by his wife Gloria, son Mark, daughter Megan May, and two grandchildren.

  • Nancy Maciag
    The Deloitte Foundation and American Accounting Association...
    news item posted April 6, 2015 by Nancy Maciag 
    The Deloitte Foundation and American Accounting Association Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Trueblood Seminars for Professors

    STAMFORD, Conn.March 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Approximately 60 accounting and auditing professionals and educators convened at the 50th annual Robert M. Trueblood Seminars for Professors, held Feb. 18-21 and March 11-14 at Deloitte University in Westlake, Texas. Hosted by the Deloitte Foundation and the American Accounting Association (AAA), the seminars provided a great opportunity for select faculty and Deloitte professionals to discuss complex accounting and auditing issues and case materials that can enhance the in-classroom experience for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in accounting.

    The program offers more than a dozen case discussions that explore various technical accounting and auditing issues facing the accounting profession today. It also features a presentation from a senior Deloitte leader and an update on current standard setting issues from the FASB.

    "We are so proud to be celebrating 50 years of the Trueblood Seminars," said Carol Lindstrom, president of the Deloitte Foundation. "These seminars enable accounting practitioners and educators to have a meaningful conversation about the state of the profession and current business environment. The Trueblood cases play a key role in helping to enrich the academic experience for thousands of accounting students across the U.S. by bringing real-world scenarios to the classroom."

    Faculty representatives of the Trueblood Seminars Planning Committee, including Co-Chairs Yonca Ertimur of the University of Colorado-Boulder and Erin Nickell of the University of Denver, developed this year's agenda. Other committee members included:Denise Hanes Downey (Villanova University), Sarah Stein (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), Dan Wangerin (Michigan State University), Donnie Young (Georgia Institute of Technology), and Kathy Shoztic (Deloitte Foundation).

    Following the seminars, faculty participants are able to share these cases with students, engaging them in discussions and further developing their critical thinking skills. The Deloitte Foundation's Trueblood Case Study Series includes approximately 50 accounting and auditing cases and is available online for faculty use. For more information on the cases, please visit

    About the Trueblood Seminars
    The Robert M. Trueblood Seminars have been held annually since 1966 under the auspices of the Deloitte Foundation. In 1975, the AAA joined the Deloitte Foundation in administering the seminars. Through the years, more than 2,200 professors have attended the program.

    About the Deloitte Foundation 
    The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization which supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The Foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefitting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and faculty. For more information, please visit the Deloitte Foundation web page at  

    About the American Accounting Association
    The American Accounting Association is the largest community of accountants in academia. Founded in 1916, it has a rich and reputable history built on leading-edge research and publications. The diversity of the membership creates a fertile environment for collaboration and innovation. Collectively, AAA members shape the future of accounting through leading-edge research, education, publications and a powerful network, ensuring their position as thought leaders in accounting. Learn more about the AAA at

    As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries.  Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.

  • Nancy Maciag
    The Deloitte Foundation Announces Recipients of the 2015...
    news item posted March 6, 2015 by Nancy Maciag 
    $250,000 in grants awarded to 10 Ph.D. candidates

    The Deloitte Foundation Announces Recipients of the 2015 Doctoral Fellowships in Accounting

     $250,000 in grants awarded to 10 Ph.D. candidates 

    WILTON, Conn., Feb. 12, 2015— The Deloitte Foundation has awarded $25,000 grants to 10 top accounting Ph.D. candidates through the Deloitte Foundation’s annual Doctoral Fellowship program. Given to students who plan to pursue academic careers upon graduation, the award will support the 2015 recipients’ final year of coursework and the subsequent year to complete their doctoral dissertation.  

    This year’s recipients and the institutions they attend are:

    • Scott A. Emett, Cornell University
    • Kurt H. Gee, Stanford University
    • Lisa A. Hinson, University of Georgia
    • Eric R. Holzman, Indiana University
    • Seil Kim, New York University 
    • Ethan C. Rouen, Columbia University
    • Mani Sethuraman, Duke University
    • Kristen G. Valentine, The University of Texas at Austin
    • Roger McNeill White, Emory University 
    • Devin J. Williams, University of Florida

    “The Deloitte Foundation has supported more than 1,000 accounting Ph.D. candidates since the program’s inception in 1956,” said Carol Lindstrom, president, Deloitte Foundation. “This program plays a key role in helping to increase the pipeline of faculty who are preparing the next generation of business leaders. Congratulations to this year’s highly talented recipients.”

    Each year, approximately 100 universities are invited to apply for the fellowship. Student applicants are nominated by the accounting faculty of their school. A selection committee composed of four eminent accounting educators chose this year’s recipients. 

    About the Deloitte Foundation 

    The Deloitte Foundation, founded in 1928, is a not-for-profit organization that supports education in the U.S. through a variety of initiatives that help develop the talent of the future and their influencers and promote excellence in teaching, research and curriculum innovation. The foundation sponsors an array of national programs relevant to a variety of professional services, benefitting middle/high school students, undergraduates, graduate students and faculty. For more information, please visit the Deloitte Foundation web page at 

    As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


    Amy Gautschi - Deloitte Public Relations.  617-585-4980

  • Nancy Maciag
    Mark Trombley
    memorial posted February 5, 2015 by Nancy Maciag 

    Mark Trombley, Beach Fleischman Professor of Accounting, died unexpectedly at his home on January 20, 2015.  Mark had been a member of the Eller faculty at the University of Arizona since 1990 when he completed his doctoral degree at the University of Washington.  Prior to that, he worked for Deloitte, a Big Four CPA firm, from 1976 to 1986. 

    Mark was known as a selfless colleague who was very generous with his time and talents.  He published over 20 articles in high quality accounting and finance journals. His research focused on financial accounting issues of contemporary debate in the academic as well as the professional community. In particular, he examined stock market efficiency in using accounting data to value a firm, factors affecting accounting method choices by firms, and the relevance of accounting data for firm valuation. He was active nationally in providing service to the accounting research community, serving on the editorial board of The Accounting Review from 2005-2008 and then as an editor from 2008-2011.  He was an ad hoc reviewer for many different accounting and finance journals and was a member of several American Accounting Association research-oriented committees, such as the Wildman Award Committee and the best dissertation award for the Financial Accounting and Reporting Section.

    Mark was an award-winning teacher who won recognition from the college and the Arizona State CPA Society.  He taught a variety of courses at the undergraduate, MBA, and PhD levels. Students greatly appreciated his teaching style and highly respected his knowledge of the subject matter. He wrote a textbook on accounting for derivatives and hedging.  In addition, accounting doctoral students benefited greatly from Mark’s time and attention. He was a committee member for over 30 doctoral students and provided research assistance and guidance over time to nearly every doctoral student in the accounting program during his tenure as a faculty member.

  • Nancy Maciag
    George Roudebush Catlett 1917-2013
    memorial posted June 5, 2014 by Nancy Maciag 

    George Roudebush Catlett (1917-2013)

    George R. Catlett, the senior technical partner of Arthur Andersen & Co. from 1962 to 1980, died on October 10, 2013 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin. He was born on August 14, 1917 in Fairmount, Illinois, where he grew up. He received B.S. and M.S. degrees in accounting from the University of Illinois and was hired in 1940 by Arthur E. Andersen to join his firm in its Chicago office. He did procurement work for the Army Ordnance Corps from 1942 to 1946, becoming a major. He rejoined Arthur Andersen & Co. as a manager, and, after Andersen died in 1947, Leonard Spacek succeeded him as managing partner. 

    Catlett became a partner in 1952. He served in the firm’s St. Louis office from 1953 to 1958, following which he returned to the Chicago home office and in 1962 was elected chairman of the firm’s committee on accounting principles and auditing procedures. He became Spacek’s right hand, drafting his speeches, but he also spoke and wrote extensively himself. His long tenure as chairman of the committee ended in 1980, when he retired from the firm.

    With partner Norman O. Olson, he wrote Accounting for Goodwill, which was Accounting Research Study No. 10 sponsored by the Accounting Principles Board (APB) in 1968. In 1973, Arthur Andersen & Co. published a collection of Catlett’s and Olson’s speeches and articles under the title, In Pursuit of Professional Goals: Addresses and Articles 1960-1972.

    In 1965, Catlett succeeded Spacek on the APB and was as one of the most active members of the board until he stepped down in 1971, having served when the board issued most of its significant pronouncements. He was APB vice-chairman from 1968 to 1971.  He was the lone dissenter in 1970 to APB Statement No. 4 on accounting principles, because he believed that the determination of what should be the objectives of accounting was an urgent matter that had not been settled in the Statement. He dissented to APB Opinion No. 17 on intangible assets, because he, like Spacek, believed that goodwill should be deducted from stockholders’ equity. He would have dissented to Opinion No. 16 on business combinations, also issued in 1970, but for the fact that his negative vote would have scuttled the Opinion, and the board had agreed that both Opinions had to be approved else the SEC would have issued regulations.

    Ever the gentleman, Catlett could disagree without being disagreeable. He staunchly supported Spacek’s crusade to rid GAAP of optional treatments and to establish the objectives of financial accounting.

    He was president of the Illinois Society of Certified Public Accountants in 1966-67 and was vice-president of the AICPA in 1976-77. 

    In 1982, he published a book on the Catlett families in Virginia and Illinois.

    He married Martha Jane Beamsley in 1944. He is survived by four sons, their children, and a sister. His wife died in 2007.

    - Stephen A. Zeff

  • Nancy Maciag
    George J. Staubus
    memorial posted April 18, 2014 by Nancy Maciag, tagged 2014 
    George J. Staubus

    George J. Staubus, the Michael Chetkovich professor emeritus at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, died on March 21 in Oakland, Calif., from bone marrow failure. He was 87.


    Professor Staubus dedicated his life’s work not only to the teaching and research of accounting but to continued improvement of the standards and practices of financial reporting.  Staubus’ colleagues say his work developing the “decision-usefulness theory of accounting” is an important contribution to financial accounting theory in the twentieth century.


    The decision-usefulness theory of accounting provides direction for all accounting and financial reporting choices. Under this theory, the primary objective of financial reporting is to provide information that is useful in making investment decisions. 


    “Professor Staubus was the first to explicitly identify that objective and to link it to enterprise cash flows or a cash flow-oriented view of how assets and liabilities are measured. Staubus' work has surged in importance in recent years as the debate about accounting's underlying theoretical framework is being re-examined by standard setters worldwide,” says Maria Nondorf, executive director, Haas Center for Financial Reporting and Management.


    Prior to Staubus pointing out the importance of cash flows in investment decisions, the theory was solely focused on accounting-based net income. Despite numerous rejections of Staubus’ insight in the 1950’s, the academic community embraced the decision-usefulness theory in the sixties, and the standards-setting community followed suit in the seventies.


    Staubus developed the “decision-usefulness theory of accounting” with his dissertation, An Accounting Concept of Revenue (1954/1980), and two subsequent articles in The Accounting Review (1958 and 1959). The theory was presented in his 1961 book, A Theory of Accounting to Investors.


    More recently, Staubus commented on the theory in the preface of The Decision-Usefulness Theory of Accounting: A Limited History (1999), “From today’s perspective, it is not a broad theory of accounting. The key to the decision-usefulness theory is the decision-usefulness objective. It is the base on which a coherent, broad structure of ideas has been built. No other such structure of accounting ideas has been developed, to my knowledge.”


    Staubus served on the Haas accounting faculty for 40 years, from 1952 until 1992. Post-retirement, he continued to play an active role in the accounting program including by participating in student activities, the annual Center for Financial Reporting and Management conference, and initiating the Berkeley Award for Distinguished Contributions to Financial Reporting, and serving on the Award's selection committee.


    “George was a very serious accounting scholar. He published more articles in The Accounting Review than anyone during his active period. George served as research director of the Financial Accounting Standards Board,” says colleague Alan Cerf, accounting professor emeritus.


    In 2009, Staubus received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Accounting Program at the Haas School and the school’s Cheit Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Undergraduate Program in 1991. In 1982, the American Accounting Association named Staubus “Distinguished International Lecturer.” The California Society of Certified Public Accountants honored Staubus with its Distinguished Professor Award in 1981.


    Former Haas School Dean Raymond Miles remembers Staubus’ sage-like personality and demeanor,“George Staubus was a constant source of good advice, particularly in the periods when I held administrative posts. George always presented a calm appearance, one that cooled off heated moments, and lent good cheer to positive situations.  He will be missed.”  


    Staubus is survived by his wife of 65 years, Sarah, and their four children, Lindsay, Martin, Paul, and Janette.

    The family will announce details of a remembrance ceremony at a later date. Contributions in memory of George Staubus may be made to these organizations that were dear to his heart:


    Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley
    1 Lawson Rd
    Kensington, CA 94707


    The Lair of the Golden Bear
    Camp Blue c/o Cal Alumni Association
    1 Alumni House
    Berkeley, CA 94720-7520