State auditors have a new representative on GASB

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Colorado State Auditor Dianne Ray will serve a five-year term on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board beginning July 1.

State auditors will continue to be represented on the Governmental Accounting Standards Board after Chairman David Vaudt ends his term June 30, although not in the traditional role of chairman.

Colorado State Auditor Dianne Ray will serve a five-year term on GASB beginning July 1, the Financial Accounting Foundation announced Tuesday.

Ray, who twice has been appointed by the Colorado General Assembly in unanimous votes, is in her 10th year as state auditor.

She also served as deputy state auditor for five years and for three years as director of local government audits, collecting and reviewing the audits done by CPA firms for almost 4,000 local governments.

The FAF decided in January to abandon for the first time its practice of selecting a state auditor as GASB chair and fill the position with a private sector accountant.

Joel Black, a partner in charge of the audit practice at the Atlanta accounting firm Mauldin & Jenkins, will take over as GASB chair on July 1, succeeding former Iowa State Auditor David Vaudt who is ending his seven-year term.

When Black was announced by FAF in January, three public sector accounting associations said at the time they were “duly concerned” about the “unilateral change to the long-standing composition of the GASB.”

However, the groups acknowledged that incoming chairman Joel Black is “highly qualified” to serve on the GASB board as a representative of the public accounting profession.

Kinney Poynter, executive director of the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, said Wednesday his organization is pleased to see Ray’s appointment to GASB.

"She will be an outstanding board member, and will provide valuable insights at a time when GASB continues to work on critical projects impacting state and local government accounting,” Poynter said in an email.

Ray said in a phone interview Wednesday that her state auditor colleagues around the nation appear pleased by her appointment based on the numerous congratulatory emails she’s received.

She acknowledged that her appointment appears to be a workaround by the FAF.

“I guess from an outside perspective that is how I would see it,” she said. “At least we, as state auditors, have a voice in the GASB and I think that’s what’s really important. I’m excited to take over and represent the state auditor community.”

Ray predicted she will have “a good working relationship” with the incoming GASB chairman based on the phone calls they have been on together so far. “I’ve gotten a good feeling about those calls, but it’s only been a couple of calls,” she said.

NASACT and the Government Finance Officers Association, meanwhile, are continuing to work with the Financial Accounting Foundation to resolve governance issues pertaining to the GASB.

Ray, a native of Arizona who earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Arizona State University, also earned a masters in public administration from the University of Colorado.

She is married and a mother of four grown children.

Ray’s GASB appointment is a part-time paid position.

The chairman is the only full-time member of the seven-member GASB board. Vaudt received $691,083 in total compensation as GASB chairman in 2018, according to the Financial Accounting Foundation’s Form 990 filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

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