Tom Rees is a Professor of Practice in the Accounting Department. Professor Rees has more than 30 years of diverse accounting experience, holding management positions in public accounting, with the federal government, and with private and public companies.
Prior to joining the Lehigh faculty, Professor Rees was a Senior Managing Director at FTI Consulting, an international consulting firm, where he provided forensic accounting and SEC advisory and accounting consulting services to clients. Mr. Rees assisted clients with a wide range of technical accounting issues, including:
- Researching accounting literature to determine the appropriate accounting treatment for unique or complex transactions,
- Writing accounting position papers to document and support accounting position in response to external auditor or SEC inquiries
- Preparing disclosures and financial statements consistent with SEC requirements and generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”).
Mr. Rees worked closely with client counsel, leading forensic accounting investigations in response to whistleblower claims or allegations of fraud, and providing expert witness and litigation support services. Professor Rees also helped establish and co-lead FTI’s Bank Regulation and Governance practice, providing a wide range of compliance, risk management, and operational risk services to assist financial institution clients in response to regulator examinations, investigations and consent orders.
Prior to his twelve-year tenure with FTI Consulting, Mr. Rees was a Professional Accounting Fellow and the Deputy Chief Accountant at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”), the Division of the U.S. Treasury Department responsible for regulating national banks. Mr. Rees was responsible for developing and interpreting supervisory policy relating to accounting, internal auditing, regulatory capital, credit impairment, internal controls and risk management. He worked with representatives of the Financial Accounting Standards Board, SEC, AICPA, FDIC, and Federal Reserve to address emerging accounting issues and prepare comment letters on proposed accounting rules. He conducted safety and soundness exams of large international financial institutions and community banks. Mr. Rees also analyzed bank financial statements and disclosures, evaluating risk, the appropriateness of financial valuations and compliance with GAAP.
While at the OCC, Mr. Rees participated on industry task forces that developed guidance on derivatives, securities impairment, loan loss allowances, securitization, credit cards, internal audit, and other accounting and regulatory capital issues. He represented the OCC in discussions with international bank supervisors and the Bank for International Settlements about accounting and disclosure and development of new capital rules for banks (Basel II). In this capacity, he analyzed international bank disclosure practices and assisted in the development of papers on best practices for management and public disclosure of market risk, credit risk and liquidity risk.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Rees was a Vice President at MBNA America (now Bank of America) where he held numerous management positions with responsibilities that included loan approval, customer service, quality assurance, process analysis, and project management. Mr. Rees also was a Vice President and Chief Accounting Officer at Penn Mutual Life Insurance where he established accounting policy, oversaw the mutual fund and broker dealer operations, coordinated preparation of the company’s financial statements and managed relationships with external auditors, rating agencies and regulatory authorities. Mr. Rees started his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. where he was a Senior Auditor.
Professor Rees is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.