USC Leventhal

Spring-Summer 2010

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USC ELAINE AND KENNETH LEVENTHAL SCHOOL OF ACCOUNTING UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Leventhalschoolnews William W. Holder Service as a Governmental Accounting Standards BoardMember –– A Retrospective Viewof a Ten-Year Commitment to Standard Setting Approximately 10 years ago I was fortunate to receive an opportu- nity to serve as a member of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (“GASB”). Although not as well known as its sister board, the Financial Ac- counting Standards Board, both boards work under the oversight of the Financial Accounting Foun- dation. The GASB develops finan- cial reporting standards for the nation’s approximately 90,000 units of state and local govern- ment while the FASB develops financial reporting standards for business enterprises and not-for profit organizations, such as USC. Governmental accounting has long been known for financial reports that focus on various funds and on short-term resource flows which are closely aligned with annual budgets that, in most cases, have the force of law. Such a financial reporting focus, while important, fails to address the longer term implications of management decisions and related operating, financing and investing decisions. At the time of my appointment, the GASB had just completed a seminal project on Basic Financial Statements that, for the first time: 1) added government wide financial reporting to its focus and 2) required accrual account- ing-based measurements for all activities in those reports. That standard, which required many years of work to develop and promulgate, set the stage for accounting projects designed to further its reporting objectives. Perhaps the most attractive aspect of my service opportunity was that the GASB was poised to embark on a series of projects that would be profoundly af- fected by that basic new financial reporting model. To understand the actions of the GASB, one must necessarily understand the conceptual financial reporting objectives it has adopted.With respect to one primary financial reporting objective, the GASB has stated: “Financial reporting should assist in fulfilling govern- ment’s duty to be publicly SPRING / SUMMER 2010 accountable and should enable users to assess that accountabil- ity” (CON 1-77). A key element of public accountability is bound up in reporting information about “inter-period equity.” Measuring and reporting inter-period equity seeWilliamW. Holder, page 13 2010 USC Leventhal Commencement Speaker ––Michael Karlin Michael Karlin, founding partner of the accounting firm Nigro, Karlin, Segal & Feldstein, was USC Leventhal’s commencement speaker this year. The ceremony was held on Friday,May 14 in Alumni Park. Karlin is an extraordinarily focused individual. In addition to being the commencement speaker, he received hisMBT degree at the ceremony. Mr. Karlin returned to school last fall to complete his degree after 30 years. Nigro, Karlin, and Segal founded the firm, as well as the business management firm of NKSMan- agement Inc. (NKS). NKS was acquired by the Assante group of companies in 1999. And in 2004, as a result of ownership changes at the Assante parent company, LoringWard Inc. emerged as the operating entity, offering Loring Ward’s Family Office services in the U.S., including the business management services formerly provided by NKS. In 2007, the founding partners re-acquired the business manage- ment, tax and audit practice from LoringWard, and renamed the new firm Nigro Karlin Segal & Feldstein, LLP. Karlin is a 1976 cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Administra- tion. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. Subsequent to obtaining his undergraduate degree,Michael worked for five years in the tax department of the international accounting firm Ernst &Whinney (now known as Ernst & Young). He has responsibility for manag- ing the business and financial affairs of many high net worth and high net income clients, many of whom include entertain- ment industry screenwriters, actors, musicians, composers, publishers, producers, directors and executives. Karlin currently serves as a mem- ber of the USC Leventhal Board of Advisors, is a member of the Board of Directors of KCET (the Los Angeles public broadcasting television station), and the chair of the Professional Advisory Net- work of theMotion Picture and Television Fund.

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