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U.S. Regulatory Bodies That Oversee Corporate Financial Institutions

Numerous regulatory bodies oversee corporate finances and financial institutions, and each one warrants its own book (in fact, the role and regulations encompassing each regulatory body span volumes of books of information). Armed with their names and main purposes, you can do a quick online search to find out more about the ones that interest you most.

  • Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC): Sets the standards for corporate public financial reporting, the rules for investment, and the regulations for securities exchanges

  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS): Handles all tax reporting, tax accounting, tax collection, and pretty much all taxation issues other than actually determining the tax rates

  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA): A nongovernmental organization that’s in charge of setting and enforcing regulations among its member groups, which include brokerage firms and exchange markets

  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC): The government body that regulates derivatives trading

  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC): One of the few private corporations owned by the U.S.; sells insurance to depository institutions, ensuring that the deposits of each person would be insured up to $250,000 in the event that something happened to the institution

  • Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC): Part of the U.S. Treasury; regulates all national commercial banks

  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA): A government-backed organization that regulates credit unions

  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA): The professional organization that regulates all certified public accountants

  • Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFAI): The professional organization that regulates all chartered financial analysts

  • Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB): A nonprofit organization that creates the generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) that are used for all public accounting in the U.S.

  • Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB): The non-profit organization that regulates the accounting of state and local governments

  • Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB): An advisory committee that regulates accounting standards for the U.S. federal government

  • Financial Accounting Foundation (FAF): The organization that provides oversight and regulation for other regulatory and professional bodies such as the AICPA, CFAI, and GASB

These are just U.S. regulatory bodies. Many more bodies provide oversight and regulation around the world. Plus, many nations are beginning to adopt international accounting standards (IAS), which may limit the need for individual national accounting standards; however, the standards boards will likely remain in most nations even after they adapt IAS.

With all the regulatory bodies that regulate other regulatory bodies, the industry as a whole may welcome some streamlining — not less regulation, necessarily (that’s a far more complicated debate), but less bureaucracy.

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