MSU's Patton appointed to federal accounting board

MSU's Patton appointed to federal accounting board

MSU's Patton appointed to federal accounting board

The mention of governmental accounting might make most people cringe, but Terry Patton, chair of Accounting, Management Information Systems, and Legal Studies, and former Dean of the Dillard College of Business Administration at Midwestern State University, finds it fascinating.

Patton realizes that it's a "geeky" area, but it's a niche where he has made a name for himself. His expertise and reputation with governmental accounting have earned him a place on the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board (FASAB). As a board member, Patton will make six trips a year to Washington D.C. to deliberate and vote on determining accounting standards for how the federal government and its agencies file financial reports. Patton's five-year term will begin July 1, 2019.

Patton's fascination with governmental accounting began years ago. He graduated from Wichita Falls High School in 1980, then graduated summa cum laude with a BBA from MSU in 1984. He received his master's from the University of North Texas, and his doctorate from Texas Tech with a concentration in governmental accounting. While working for Mathis, West, Huffines and Co. (now MWH Group), he worked on governmental accounting projects.

At Tech, Patton had the opportunity to study under one of the leading experts in that field, Robert J. Freeman, now the Distinguished Professor of Accounting Emeritus at Tech. Freeman was Professor of Accounting from 1979-2007 and has written numerous textbooks on the subject.

Through Freeman, Patton became involved with the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB), an independent, private-sector organization based in Norwalk, Connecticut, that establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for U.S. state and local governments. Patton served eight years on the GASB staff. In 2007, Patton returned to MSU Texas as the Robert Madera Distinguished Professor of Accounting. He was named dean of the Dillard College of Business Administration in May 2012.

Last year, Patton began a two-year term on the Governmental Accounting Standards Advisory Council (GASAC), which advises the GASB on strategic and technical issues, project priorities, and other matters that affect standards setting.

The progression to defining federal accounting standards is a dream for Patton. "I'm very fortunate to have this opportunity to be involved in both the local-state level and now the federal level of accounting standards setting," he said. "I'll be excited to see how all the different pieces fit together."

With his mentor Freeman, Patton has co-authored a textbook on governmental accounting, Governmental and Nonprofit Accounting: Theory and Practice. Patton and his wife, Suesan, are co-authors of Accounting for Governmental and Nonprofit Organizations, a widely-used textbook.

Locally, Patton has served on the boards of First Step Inc. and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He currently serves on the boards of the Better Business Bureau Serving North Central Texas, United Regional Healthcare System, and the Wichita Falls Alliance for Arts and Culture. He is a member of numerous accounting organizations and currently serves as vice president of education and research for the Government and Nonprofit Section of the American Accounting Association.

Sallyanne Harper, a founding member and past president of the Association for Federal Enterprise Risk Management, was appointed to FASAB with Patton. She has served in key leadership positions at the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Others on the FASAB include accounting professionals from the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of the Treasury, the Government Accountability Office, and private firms.

According to its mission statement, the FASAB serves the public interest by improving federal financial reporting through issuing federal financial accounting standards and providing guidance after considering the needs of external and internal users of federal financial information, which supports government's responsibility to be publicly accountable.

An Appointments Panel - composed of the FASAB chair, the three federal FASAB members, and three individuals representing the American Institute of CPAs and the Financial Accounting Foundation - advises the FASAB sponsors on appointments and re-appointments for the six nonfederal members of the board including selection of the chair. The sponsors, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin, Director of Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, and Comptroller General of the United States Gene L. Dodaro, made the final appointments.