Accounting Summer School continues as Chris and Kurt chat with Howard Scheck, a Partner at StoneTurn Group LLP and a former Chief Accountant in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. They discuss Howard’s career as a JD/CPA, his experience in the Division of Enforcement, and his take on today’s trends in accounting and audit enforcement.
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Featured in this Episode
Howard Scheck, a Partner with StoneTurn, has more than 25 years of experience investigating public company financial reporting issues—including as Chief Accountant in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
Howard specializes in assisting counsel with:
- Accounting investigations—GAAP and FCPA;
- Accounting defense—companies and individuals; and
- Auditing defense—audit firms and engagement team members;
Howard has significant experience handling matters involving SEC and DOJ enforcement inquiries, internal investigations and civil lawsuits. Specific areas in which he assists counsel include:
- Investigating allegations of accounting errors or irregularities;
- Evaluating potential violations of PCAOB auditing standards;
- Consulting on defense strategies in accounting and auditing matters;
- Providing expert views and submissions to the SEC and DOJ;
- Testifying on accounting, auditing and internal controls issues; and
- Evaluating, testing and recommending enhancements to internal controls;
As Chief Accountant, Howard led 100 accountants across the U.S. (35 direct reports in D.C. and 65 in the SEC’s regional offices) in investigating the Division’s accounting and auditing-related investigations. His experience spans a wide-range of financial reporting issues, including revenue recognition, expense recognition, earnings management and asset valuation. Entities he has investigated have included banks and broker-dealers as well as energy, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, software and retail companies. Howard’s responsibilities in connection with these matters included assessing evidence and advising enforcement teams about the:
- SEC registrant’s compliance with accounting standards and disclosure requirements;
- Severity of deficiencies in internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure controls; and
- Independent auditors’ compliance with PCAOB auditing standards, Rule 102(e) and Section 10A;
Howard worked closely with the Office of Market Intelligence in assessing the merits of accounting and auditing-related whistleblower tips and with investigation teams and Senior Staff concerning all aspects of conducting accounting investigations, evaluating Wells submissions and formulating recommendations to the Commission. He worked closely with the Office of Chief Accountant and Division of Corporation Finance on accounting and auditing enforcement recommendations (as well as with the PCAOB), and with the Division of Investment Management on financial reporting issues involving investment advisers and funds.
Previously in the Division, Howard had served as a Branch Chief, Senior Counsel and Staff Attorney, where he was responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of federal securities laws involving accounting, FCPA, insider trading, market manipulation, offering fraud and Investment Company Act of 1940 issues.
In the private sector, Howard has led accounting and FCPA-related investigations for audit and special committees, and he has assisted counsel in defending public companies, their officers, directors and auditors in government investigations. He has also assisted companies with assessing antifraud and FCPA compliance programs—including for SEC / DOJ Monitors.
Prior to joining StoneTurn, Howard served as a Partner in the Forensic practice of KPMG. Howard was also a Partner in the forensic practice of Deloitte before returning to the SEC as Chief Accountant. He began his accounting career in the audit department of Touche Ross where he audited public and private companies in the financial services, insurance and technology sectors, including many publicly traded investment companies. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a Senior Corporate Accountant in the headquarters of a NYSE technology company.
Howard is a Certified Public Accountant (licensed in Washington, DC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts), a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of District of Columbia Bar and American Bar Association.