The Enron and WorldCom scandals were arguably the incidents that permanently changed the procedures for accounting controls. In response to these incidents, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) of 2002 was passed. Once the knowledge of these scandals was made public, a number of subsequent accounting scandals were discovered in public companies such as Tyco International, HealthSouth, and American Insurance Group. In addition, a then-employee-owned company, Post, Buckley, Schuh & Jernigan, Inc. (dba PBS&J, now known as “Atkins North America, Inc.”), was also hit by a similar accounting scandal. Henceforth, a case study of PBS&J is presented where we will examine the fraudulent transactions that
Throughout history and in our own time, legitimate accounting methods have been utilized to fraudulently engage in manipulating activities that results in illicit gains to the perpetrators and losses to individuals and financial institutions.
The question before our society is not whether corporate crime is a victimless crime, rather the question is what should be done about it? Corporate crime doesn’t just do harm to the investors that can be unknowingly damaged by these crimes, it has a much more insidious nature to it as it has done harm on global scales. Corporate crime is almost a misnomer because many of these criminal wrongdoings are for the most part legal, when not taken to their ultimate conclusion. Society within the United States has been taught that the man in the brief case, yelling at other men in dark coats on the flow of the stock exchange are the smartest guys in the room. This paper will attack that idea on many levels, the first salvo will be
“ In order to prevent fraudulent financial reports and statements, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants(AICPA) has created ethical standards” (Ethical standards in a financial statement, 2011). These standards aim to make financial professionals accountable for their accounting practices. This includes the integrity of financial reporting and ensuring financial reporting is done fairly and factually. Financial accountants and professionals should maintain professional integrity, objectivity, and independence to reduce the risk of resulting legal action, loss of profits, and a poor reputation if improper financial reporting is done (Ethical standards in a financial statement, 2011).
Occupational fraud is defined as the use of a person’s job for individual enrichment through the purposeful mishandling or misapplication of his or her employer’s capital or assets (Wells, 2005). Occupational fraud can have a serious impact with far-reaching consequences. In 2004 for the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) conducted a survey that provided 508 usable studies of fraud for a total of over $761 million
As laws and regulations continue to grow and become more complex, the need for forensic accountants is sure to continue growing as well. An example of how regulations have grown (mirroring the demand for forensic accountants) can be seen by comparing the scope and length of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, at 66 pages, to the 849 page Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection act of 2009.(Tucker, 2011) It is the environment created by such complex regulations and oversight committees that has hedged the need for accounting experts who can help demonstrate both the effects of individual companies on overall markets, as well as the opposite effects of market-happenings on individual firms. This complicated data, made comprehendible by a talented and effective forensic accountant, can serve as the determining factor in a case. Ultimately, this allows for
In this day and age, a corporation, family, or individual always has a potential risk of encountering fraud within their money supply. On average, fraud and abuse costs U.S. organizations more than $400 billion annually (Federal Bureau Investigation, 2010). Many may think that white collared crime is only money laundering or stealing, but that is only two out of the sum that countless culprits get away with. The term “white-collar crime,” originally coined in 1939 is synonymous with the full range of frauds committed by business and government professionals (Federal Bureau Investigation, 2010). These frauds include anything from bankruptcy fraud, money laundering, identity theft, corporate fraud to a wide number of threats all circling
Ethics in any industry is important, but for Accounting professionals and those in need of their services, it is a particularly stressed element. Information provided by accountants is used to make major decisions, including investing, downsizing, expanding, etc, so accountants are expected to be competent, reliable, and have a high degree of professional integrity. Because of these high expectations, the professional accountancy industry, like many other professions, has adopted professional codes of ethics (Woelfel, 1986). These ethical codes go above and beyond the requirements for state or federal laws and regulations. There are several professional organizations within the
Businesses, investors, creditors rely on accounting ethics. The accounting profession requires honesty, consistency with industry standards, and compliance with laws and regulations. The ethics increase the responsibility and integrity of accounting professionals, and public trust. The ethical requirements influence the management behavior and decision-making. The financial scandal of Enron and Arthur Anderson demonstrates the failure of fundamental ethical framework, such as off-balance sheet transactions, misrepresentation of financial statements, inaccurate disclosure, manipulations with earnings, etc. The confronted accounting profession and concern for ethics in businesses forced regulators to revise the conceptual framework of accounting processes.
Imagine trusting your hard-earned money like your retirement savings to a financial adviser or Certified Public Accountants (CPA) only to lose it all in a fraudulent Ponzi scheme. In today’s world of business many organizations, financial planners and accountants are in the news due to the financial ethical breaches that have affected their customers, employees, and the general public. A CPA has to be responsible for their audits and take any punishments as a result of their mistakes, incompetence or illegal actions. CPAs are expected to have integrity in their work,
Fraudulent, erroneous, and illegal acts committed by a public company, usually at a managerial or executive level, have been a very serious problem for many years and have prompted development of strict and updated regulations, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, in an attempt to prevent these occurrences. Unfortunately, these new or updated regulations are not enough to prevent these acts from happening, thus not alleviating the auditors of their responsibility to detect fraud. Some methods that management and auditors can employ to prevent and detect fraud, errors, and illegal acts are: improving knowledge, improving skills,
Ethical issues have greatly transformed in our lives since the great Enron, Xerox and other huge corporations proposed big profits showing earnings of billions of dollars and yet in reality facing bankruptcy. These corporations faced great trouble with the federals and state for manipulating financial statements. But not only corporations can be blamed on this, accounting firms were involved in this as much as the corporations were. With the business stand point, ethics comprises of principles and standards that guide behavior. Investors, traders, customers, and legal system determine whether a specific action is ethical or unethical. Ethical issue is a vast subject, but we will look at the niche
As requested I have completed an analysis of the accounting fraud case at Computer Associates (CA) in preparation of your speech at the American Accounting Associations annual meeting. I have structured my analysis to correspond to six key questions that arose from the case and Stephen Richards actions while Head of Global Sales at Computer Associates.
Accounting skills are useful for companies and individuals who are trying to maximize their profits and maintain a competitive advantage, but forensic accounting can help bring justice and peace of mind for many others by illuminating financial processes that can help explain criminal actions and behaviors. The purpose of this essay is to describe the five most important skills a forensic accountant may possess in order to become successful. This essay will describe each one of these traits and describe its application to business operations. Next the essay will describe the role of the forensic accountant within a courtroom environment and then also discuss the legal responsibilities that these professionals have to obey in the course of their work. Finally this essay will highlight two real world cases where forensic accounting provided vital evidence in a legal court case.