Colorado State Professor Named as One of the Top 100 Most Influential People in the Accounting Profession

The director of Colorado State University’s Center for Quality Financial Reporting has been named to Accounting Today’s "Top 100 Most Influential People" in the accounting profession.

Lynn Turner, former chief accountant of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, has been a major proponent of reform in the accounting industry this year and while serving as the commission’s top accountant from 1998-2001.

Accounting Today called Turner "a media favorite during the string of massive accounting scandals, as well as a key behind-the-scenes consultant on structuring the current accounting reform legislation."

Turner testified to both the U.S. House and Senate five times this year on a range of topics including the role accounting played in the downfall of Enron, why reliable numbers are critical to the success of the U.S. capital markets, the economic implications of the human capital crisis at the SEC and the role of financial institutions in Enron’s collapse.

Turner’s contributions to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, signed by President Bush in July:

  • added a new oversight board which will inspect firms, set auditing standards and undertake disciplinary proceedings;
  • significantly enhanced auditor independence by prohibiting auditors from providing a list of services to their audit clients;
  • strengthened audit committees and their responsibilities;
  • applied the law to foreign auditors; and
  • provided independent funding for the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Since his arrival at Colorado State, Turner has been responsible for establishing the new Center for Quality Financial Reporting while serving as professor of accounting and spending time lecturing around the world on the critical need for corporate reform.

"Lynn Turner is a man of conviction and someone who believes passionately that reform is essential for the accounting profession," said Ajay Menon, dean of the College of Business at Colorado State. "The College of Business is privileged to have him on our faculty and for the opportunity to provide a forum for the national debate on the need for accounting reform."

In his first year as director of the center, Turner’s distinguished speaker’s series featured Charles Bowsher, chairman of the Public Oversight Board and former comptroller general for the U.S. General Accounting Office, and James Gerson, chair of the accounting industry’s Auditing Standards Board. Both speakers presented information to Colorado State students, faculty and the business community about developments in corporate America, the impact on the accounting profession and capitol markets and necessary reforms.

Turner also has served as one of six members of the panel of experts for the International Monetary Fund. The panel of international experts was responsible for making recommendations to the IMF with respect to improving controls over its international lending practices.

Turner also was named to Accounting Today’s "Top 100 List" in 2000 for his influential contributions to the industry while serving at the SEC.

For more information about the Center for Quality Financial Reporting at Colorado State, visit the Web at