The Accounting Fraud At Worldcom

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From the time of WorldCom’s inception there always seemed to be a tradition in management as if the company was only 100 or so employees. There was a “good old boys” mentality among the limited few running the company and if you were outside that circle then were told only what they wanted you to hear. An unspoken rule among employees was to do what you were told without questions or risk the consequences. One example of this situation occurred when senior management member Gene Morse told an employee “If you show those damn numbers to the f****ing auditors, I’ll throw you out the window” (Kaplan, R.S., & Kiron, D., 2007, p. 3).WorldCom showed no concern regarding an employee’s need and obligation to voice concerns on matters related to their job function. “Employees felt they did not have an independent outlet for expressing concerns about company policies or behavior” (Kaplan et al., 2007, p. 3). This treatment created a climate of fear among employees and reinforced the management team’s ability to keep knowledge and decision making within their grasp.

Transparency and full-disclosure were non-existent to both employees and investors. Employees were told to “spend whatever was necessary to bring revenue in the door, even if it meant that the long term cost…outweighed short-term gains” (Kaplan et al., 2007, p. 4) which created a costly underutilized network backbone. Checks and balances were ever established to ensure that money was being invested in the best interest of the company and its shareholders. As time went on these decisions would result in complete failures on all levels and would assist in creating scandal worth millions of dollars. At one time WorldCom stock was calculated to “once be worth $180 billion”...

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...ree market with a lot of innovations and some folks who don't necessarily want to play by the rules. But that doesn't mean we should stop trying to regulate and prosecute wrongdoers” (Benner, 2010, para. 8).

References

Benner, K. (2010). Is Sarbanes-Oxley a failure - Mar. 24, 2010. CNN Money. Retrieved January 17, 2012, from money.cnn.com/2010/03/23/news/economy/sarbanes_oxley.fortune/index.htm

Kaplan, R.S., & Kiron, D. (2007) Accounting Fruad at WorldCom, 1-18. Retrieved from http://cb.hbsp.harvard.edu/cb/pl/11562378/11562382/0a1c198fe80aa631fc4498e20028747f

Robbins, S. P., & Coulter, M. K. (2012). Social Responsibility and Ethics. Management (11th ed., pp. 150-177). Harlow: Pearson.

Worldcom Stock Price - Worldcom Stock Prices - Worldcom Stock Price Chart - Agonist Learning Center. (2009). The Agonist. Retrieved January 17, 2012, from http://agonist.org

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