Prior to 2000, Enron was an American energy, commodities and service international company. Enron claimed that revenue is more than 102 millions (Healy & Palepu 2003, p.6). Fortune named Enron “American most innovative company” for six consecutive years (Ehrenberg 2011, paragraph 3). That is the reason why Enron became an admired company before 2000. Unfortunately, most of the net income for the years 1997-2000 is overstated because of unethical accounting errors (Benston & Hartgraves 2002, p. 105). In the next paragraph, three main accounting issues will identify for what led to the fall of Enron.
Kaplan, R. S., & Kiron, D. (2007). Accounting Fraud at WorldCom. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.
When Wal-Mart decided that a store in Teotihuacan, a very busy tourist area, was a great idea, and that it would attract around 250 customer...
In the wake of the Madoff Ponzi schemes, the SEC has stepped up investment regulation and fraud detection measures. Additionally, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX) was passed as direct result of the Enron and WorldCom ethic violations. SOX has been characterized as "the most far reaching reforms of American business practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt” mandated a number of changes to improve financial disclosures from corporations and prevent accounting fraud. SOX also created the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) to oversee the activities of the auditing profession. Had the PCAOB been in place perhaps Arthur Anderson would not have been so quick to turn a blind eye to Enron’s accounting irregulars.
...of the largest accounting firms in America, in charge of auditing Enron then became involved, and destroyed any of Enron’s documents that could prove that they were breaking the law.
This problem led to the plummet of investor stock earnings from $1.88 to $.88 to $1.14 per share for fiscal year 2000. The problem was instigated by three former executives of the Rent-Way Corporation, who conspired to meet the projected earnings they had reported to Wall Street by making fraudulent entries that underreported operating expenses and misstated income and earnings per share in the company's SEC filings in 1999 and 2000 (FBI website, 2003).
In today’s business world, an accountant and business owners should work together in order to become aware of scandals that occur in corporate companies. Since 2008 a series of corporate scandals and collapses have highlighted the importance of effective board oversight. One of the largest scandals in the corporate world was known as the Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. I will discuss the details of how an accountant allowed Maddoff to continue with his involvement in the Ponzi scheme. Since then, the board of accountancy is mandating that all corporate companies have good internal controls and getting more involved managing risks within the organization. This is becoming an essential role in maintaining a good system of internal control.
Fiolleau et al. mentioned that the regulatory reforms positioned the audit committee as client and held them responsible on auditor appointment process, however the investigation suggest that the management has significant influence or control over the decision making process of selecting an auditor instead, and the role of the audit committee was interpreted as a monitor to auditor selection process and did not take the full responsibility in gathering the information and the selection decision (pp.874-877). Fiolleau et al. study result shows that the RFP was drafted by the CFO with an evaluative criteria indicating the disqualification if the auditors contact the audit committee members except the chair, and appointing the VP-finance as a single point of contact, and sent to the auditor with audit committee approval, which is opposite to the AICPA (2004) recommendation to have the audit committee issue the RFP with the management signature (p.874). Fiolleau et al. study discovered that during deliberations, no meeting without the management presence, while during the evaluation process the management met without the audit committee and then provided their recommendation to the audit committee afterwards, which is not the best practice because the corporate governance recommendation is for the board to deliberate in a video conference settings (p.876). Fiolleau et al. specified that regulatory reforms assigned audit committee as decision maker to appoint external auditor to promote independence of auditors from their clients and dictate audit partner rotation to institute as another set of eyes or fresh look, however
Good business decisions are based in financial statements that are prepared by the accounting firms or accountants within a company. When doing account for any company they all follow a standard called GAAP (Generally accepted accounting principles), GAAP provides guidelines and rules which companies use when preparing their financials statements so that all company are on the same page as one another. When Arthur Anderson accounting were preparing the financial statements for Enron they were lying about the financial situation that the company was in, in order to make the company look financial better than they really were. Nobody can really put reasoning behind why they done this but everyone can make assumptions on what was occurring and who was involved and why it all occurred. After Anderson accounting was involved with the fraudulent scandal of Enron and also WorldCom they got themselves a bad name and with a bad reputation hence no other company's would want to do business with them. Those companies that were currently doing business with them would not want to be affiliated with them. When the company had their audit done, they actually would have not been in such deep water as they got themselves into if they hadn't tried to hide things and destroy their papers, because they actually only had 4 major areas where they could have been caught.
The frauds that occurred under the audits of Arthur Anderson in the 1990’s into the 21st century had a direct correlation from the new culture at the company. Audit partners had little involvement with issuing opinions and had poor professional conduct. The company rewarded employees for the largest bid amounts brought into the company. Andersen had lost sight of its foundation of principles that it was built on providing quality audits to
Arthur Andersen as HIH auditor has three of its former partners sat as HIH board. Cohen, Fodera and Gardener the three former partners of Arthur Andersen had been appointed as audit committee, chief financial officer and board of director after a few months of their resignation. Moreover, the auditor presentations to the audit committee were discussed with HIH management prior to audit committee meetings. The close relationship between HIH and its auditor cause a threat to the independence of auditing and its assurance engagement. Royal Commission has established the close relationship between clients and auditors could be a threat to the independence of the assurance team. As a result, the requirement of rotation of audit partners after a maximum of seven years was applied (Allan, G 2006, p. 137). In order to improve auditor’s independence, The Corporate Law Economic Reform Program (Audit Reform and Corporate Disclosure) Act 2004, better known as the ‘CLERP 9 Act’ was introduced concerning significant audit reforms and implications arose from cases such as HIH and Ramsay (Allan, G 2006, p.
The parties who would be potentially affected by the outcomes of these dilemmas include Cardillo, the audit firms involved, investors of Cardillo, creditors and the general “public”. If the auditors had agreed to accept the transactions, they would have not only subjected their respective audit firms to litigation risk, but also compromised the integrity of the audit, since it would not be free of material misstatement. On the other hand, by refusing to accept Cardillo’s explanation, the auditors could lose Cardillo as a client. Lastly, the auditors have a responsibility to the public, including investors, creditors and competitors who rely on the financial statements to be accurate. The auditors must maintain independence to ensure that the financial information is fair to all parties...