Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,
Thanks to Governor Schwarzenegger for beefing up the health care boards with a $12.8 million spending request for 107 new investigators in the new budget. This is long overdue.

The Board of Accountancy can be thought of as more wide-ranging than the healthcare boards. Healthcare workers can victimize only one person at a time. Misbehaving CPA auditors can wipe out thousands, with billions in losses, with the stroke of a pen.

So beef up the Board of Accountancy. With the impending retirement of Chief Enforcement Officer Larry Knapp, the board will be down to 3 (yes 3) investigators.  There are about 80,000 licensees.  We don’t even have a regional office in Southern California.

No wonder the public keeps losing billions of dollars with defective CPA audit opinions. AIG was audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Bear Stearns was Deloitte & Touche. Lehman Brothers was Ernst & Young. Countrywide was KPMG.

The good news is that you can beef up the Board of Accountancy WITHOUT new appropriations. Two things are needed. The Board suffered three “loans” to the General Fund totaling $20,270,000 – which could be restored, by you, to the Board of Accountancy.  The other is the artificially allowable low pay scale for investigatory CPAs.  It’s now around $65,000 per year, when $125,000 should be the minimum.  You could easily arrange this upgrade.

Governor, let me know what you will do to protect our 37 million Californians.

Carl Olson
Chairman, Fund for Stockowners Rights.

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