In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has grown in size and scope. The implementation of Sarbanes‐Oxley (SOX) and the globalization of accounting standards have increased the SEC's workload and brought forth important questions regarding the development and application of accounting and auditing standard setting and regulation. This paper identifies key issues of importance to the SEC including record levels of restatements, SOX implementation, the backdating of stock options, increased use of fair‐values in financial reporting, adoption of IFRS by numerous non‐U.S. registrants, and foreign deregistration. The article highlights the contribution of academic research as it relates to SEC speeches and rulemaking, drawing upon experience of 2005–2006 SEC academic fellows.