Group picks La Tourette

By Dawn Panka

Along with his other duties, NIU President John La Tourette is sharing his financial expertise with other companies as part of a national accounting advising group.

La Tourette was one of seven new members appointed to the 33-member Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council. The council, which meets quarterly, addresses major issues on economic systems, he said.

“I am pleased I was asked to be on the council,” La Tourette said. “It is a recognition for the whole university and the department of accounting and its students, as it is for me,” he said.

La Tourette said the council was looking to choose a higher education representative from a university with national and regional recognition in accounting.

“Our accounting department is one of the top ten in the country and for the last eight of ten years we have had the highest passage rate on the CPA exam,” La Tourette said.

La Tourette said council member Gaylen N. Larson also may have influenced the council’s decision to choose him. Larson is an NIU graduate and chairman of NIU’s College of Business Advisory Council.

La Tourette was appointed last fall and attended his first council meeting in January, he said.

Discussions at the meeting focused on developing a new accounting system for financial institutions focusing on market value of finances rather than historical costs, La Tourette said.

Due to the savings and loans failures, there has been an increasing interest in changing to alternative accounting systems which will give more realistic inputs of finances, La Tourette said.

“In some cases when the historical costs are used after an audit, the finances are still considered in good shape, which is not the case,” La Tourette said.

“For example, investing in junk bonds could give a misleading account of finances,” he said.

By reassessing property by using its current market value an audit would be more realistic, he said.

The next council meeting is to be held in April, La Tourette said.