COOK: Well, surely, if I used the word “decent relationship,” I misspoke
And if the judgment at the end of the day is that the appearance of independence has been substantially and negatively affected, that is a cause for consideration on this issue by the Commission, notwithstanding the absence of a particular instance where an audit has been compromised.
I would prefer resolution of any issue in the private sector and with the private sector standard-setting bodies, if that can possibly be achieved
COMMISSIONER HUNT: Mr. Cook, I was troubled by your statement that said that you hope we could get back to a decent working relationship between the profession and the Commission and that you think that has been absent for some years, if not many years.
MR. I would just say that the relationship today is not as constructive and open and partner-like as I would hope that it would be.
I’ve been an observer of this for a long time. I’ve been a participant in it for a long time. I have my sense of when it has been at its best and when it has been not as good, and I would have to say that today the marks on the scorecard would be somewhat lower in terms of the quality of relationship in working through issues, the dialogue that would take place.
I also happen to agree with the analysis that says that you really are not going to be able to expect to find these specific situations, but I would hope that even if you could you wouldn’t
COMMISSIONER HUNT: Well, you’re not the first person who has said that, at least to me, and maybe to my colleagues here as well, and we’ll see if we can work on that.
What do you think of the suggestion that before we do rule-making in this area we should let the relatively new ISB work?
MR. COOK: I assume — and I’m really just not privy to any direct information on this subject, so I’m going to give a rather incomplete response. I said in my own statement that I might prefer other solutions to this issue than a regulatory response.
I assume there are reasons why a conclusion has been reached that the ISB is not the forum for resolution of this issue.
I can see the complexities of a board having, in part, public members and, in part, members from leadership positions in the major firms who have differences of viewpoint even among themselves on this issue.
It may be the forum of choice but not the forum of practicality in terms of the ability to https://rksloans.com/title-loans-ia/ resolve it. I think I would be better served by saying that that question probably could be better addressed to others, but my general leaning would be to a private sector response to any issue, if that’s possible.
COMMISSIONER HUNT: I appreciate that, and I appreciate the fact that differing views on some members of the ISB representing the firms which may make a resolution in that forum difficult, but you also mentioned that you didn’t think we could come to a consensus with the profession on these issues.
MR. COOK: No. I said that I believe at the end of the day there will be differing views, honestly held legitimate differences of viewpoint with respect to these issues, and that’s not unusual in any standard-setting or regulatory environment.
Somebody will, at the end of the day, have to listen to all those views and make a judgment about what is ultimately in the public interest, taking into consideration both financial reporting and the strength of the profession.