Wall Street watchdog undergoing makeover

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Friday that it had named Paul Beswick as its new chief accountant.

The Wall Street watchdog is continuing to undergo a makeover as top staff have departed as President Obama wraps up his first term. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro left the position earlier this month after steering the agency through the depths of the financial crisis and the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Beswick had been functioning as the SEC's top accountant in an acting capacity since July, when James L. Kroeker left the agency for the private sector. SEC Chairman Elisse Walter hailed Beswick's experience on the job as a vital asset for the agency.

"Paul has served the Commission with great distinction and provided wise counsel on difficult accounting questions," she said. "Investors and the accounting profession will benefit with Paul as the Chief Accountant."

Beswick joined the SEC in 2007, and now is in charge of handling the agency's work on all accounting and auditing matters, as the regulator works to ensure public companies have transparent and relevant financial reporting.

Before joining the SEC, Beswick was a partner at Ernst & Young LLP.