Lynn Turner, Chief Accountant, to Leave the Sec

Washington, D.C., July 26, 2001 – Lynn E. Turner, Chief Accountant, announced today that, after three years of service, he is leaving the Commission in August. He will join the faculty at Colorado State University where he also will be the Director of the Center for Quality Financial Reporting in the College of Business. Mr. Turner has been the Chief Accountant for the Commission since July 1998.

Acting SEC Chairman Laura Unger said, "The Commission is losing one of the most active and creative members of the staff. It has been said that Lynn is a ‘force of nature’ and anyone who has dealt with him on a regular basis shares that view. Lynn has been a dynamic, energetic, and knowledgeable leader of the accounting staff. We will miss his keen intellect and the integrity and strength of his views."

During his tenure, Mr. Turner was instrumental in many of the improvements made by the Commission and the accounting profession, such as:

  • More engaged audit committees, resulting in part from the new rules adopted by the stock exchanges, the SEC and the accounting profession, as well as from the report of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Improving the Effectiveness of Corporate Audit Committees.
  • Improved quality in the numbers in financial statements, a result of the earnings management initiative and accompanying staff and professional guidance.
  • Newly adopted rules on auditor’s independence, developed in response to changes occurring in accounting firms and the accounting profession.
  • Issuance by the Commission of its Concept Release on International Accounting, which emphasized the need for high quality financial reporting on a global basis, and a restructured International Accounting Standards Board.
  • Enhanced enforcement of the accounting and financial reporting rules and regulations, including cases involving PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Livent, Cendant, Sunbeam, Waste Management, Arthur Andersen LLP, and others.
  • The adoption by the Public Oversight Board, for the first time, of a charter that gives it greater oversight over the accounting profession.
  • Publication of a report by the Panel on Audit Effectiveness, or O’Malley Panel, established by the POB at the request of the SEC, making over 200 recommendations to the accounting firms and profession for improving the quality of audits.

Mr. Turner said, "Serving the public and the Commission as the SEC’s Chief Accountant has been a wonderful experience, which will always be a part of me. One of the most enjoyable aspects of being Chief Accountant was working with former Chairman Levitt, Acting Chairman Unger, Commissioner Hunt and the other distinguished members of the Commission. We could not have accomplished what we did, however, without the most dedicated staff I have ever worked with – the staff of the Office of the Chief Accountant and the many talented people in the Commission’s other divisions and offices. At the same time, I am excited about the opportunity to teach at a great institution and my alma mater."

Before joining the Commission, Mr. Turner was the Chief Financial Officer for Symbios Inc., a Colorado-based manufacturer of semiconductors and storage systems. Prior to that, he was an SEC consulting partner in the accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand and the National Practice Leader for the C&L High Technology Audit Practice. He has received numerous awards throughout his career commemorating his accomplishments and his dedication to public service.

Mr. Turner received his M.A. in Accounting from the University of Nebraska and his B.A. in Business Administration from Colorado State University. He also has received honorary doctorate degrees from Grand Valley State University and Central Michigan University. He is a member of the AICPA and the Financial Executives International.