The case describes that, "...the accounting system could not be locked at the end of the month and there was no audit trail. Sachdeva and Mulvaney were thus able to make undetected post-closing changes to the books and bypass an internal control requiring Michael J. Koss to authorize those changes". These post-closing changes may be false entries done to hide theft during the accounting period. Further, because the reconciliations were done by the same people who initiated or recorded the transactions, the fraud could be covered up. For example, had one of them made an unauthorized purchase at a retail store where the expense were obviously not business related, they could have assigned the expense or expense description to a vendor where the transaction amount would have been normal. If the accounting system was not locked, they could have also just posted the transaction date back to a prior period that isn't likely to be reviewed.
According to ASPE 3400.05, revenue cannot be recognized until the following three criteria are met.
d. WorldCom capitalized $3.8 billion in line cost expenses. These were transactions that involved payment to local telephone companies to use their fiber optic network. These line costs are also called access charges or transport charges and are an operating cost. These costs do not meet the definition of an asset as described in FASB Statement of Concepts No. 6. Telecommunication companies can capitalize the costs and labor of installing lines or cable; however, they should not capitalize fees paid to another company for the use of their lines.
The Venus Cellular statement of comprehensive income includes several additional line items in order to provide improved clarity in relation to the operating performance of the entity. IAS 1.86 explains, “the effects of an entity’s various activities, transactions and other events differ in frequency, potential for gain or loss and predictability, disclosing the components of financial performance assists users in understanding the financial performance achieved and in making projections of future financial performance. An entity includes additional line items in the statement(s) presenting profit or loss and other comprehensive income and it amends the descriptions used and the ordering of items when this is necessary to explain the elements of financial performance.”
New accounting rules will affect the company’s revenue recognition in the upcoming year. Many companies such as Rolls-Royce Holdings will be affected by this change. Rolls-Royce Holdings books its revenues even before its services performed. For instance, they sell large engines and maintenance service, and Rolls-Royce Holdings booked the revenue even 1.5 years in advance. They will no longer able to book this unperformed revenues for the upcoming year. The investors will have a better picture on the firm’s revenues based on the new revenue recognition. Some sectors, such as telecommunications, media and pharmaceuticals, are expected to be affected more than others, because the firms recognize revenues before they perform the services. Moreover,
Ignoring the revenue recognition principle could end up distorting an entity's balance sheet/statement of financial position. It is important to note that without adherence to this principle, it could be possible for entities experiencing a decline in sales to hide such an occurrence by modifying some items. In such a case, a refundable cash inflow i.e. a deposit used as security for the possible completion of an agreed upon task at a specified future time could be recognized as revenue. Under this principle, such an inflow should ideally be recognized as a liability and later as revenue only after the said task has been completed.
On an overcast afternoon in Portland, Oregon, on Friday, March 28, 2003, Richard Okumoto intently studied a set of hard-copy accounting documents called “adjusting journal entries” spread out on his desk. He had been appointed chief financial officer (CFO) of Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (ESI), a multi-million dollar equipment manufacturer, just a few weeks earlier. Okumoto was in the midst of closing the company’s books for the third quarter of fiscal year 2003, which ended February 28. An experienced executive who had served as CFO for several other technology firms, Okumoto was familiar with the task, which normally would be routine. But this time, he
White Paper. Based on your own analysis of GAAP, explain the propriety or impropriety of
b. The bogus debit memos for accounts payable. – The most reliable form of evidence that the auditors could have obtained in this situation would be confirmations. The auditors should have sent confirmations to vendors, suppliers, and creditors confirming the amount that Crazy Eddie owed them. The amounts reportedly owed could then be matched with the amounts recorded in the company’s accounting records. Auditors should question any discrepancies.
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.
The chief executive of the company was closely working with the vendors whose confirmations were vital in the auditing work and hence they could have submitted false confirmations. The auditing firm established a national risk management program for its clients and so national reviews were done to identify the high risk items in the financial statement. The vendor allowances were particularly high but they were not documented. As such, the auditors were supposed to demand for the documentations and compare them with the real figures. It is however noted that most of the documentations received were non-standard and this could have led to a different audit report given that vendor allowances were earlier identified as a high risk area. Inventory management was found to be poor especially in the allowances for inventory reserves. The audit firm was therefore obliged to carry out a thorough evaluation of the inventory reserves and determine whether it was reasonable. The valuation was also supposed to include all classes of inventory but for the case of the company, the evaluation excluded instances where no sales had been made. Hence, this evaluation could not accurately represent the position of the inventory reserve in the company. (Waters,2003)
The revenue recognition principle is a foundation of accrual accounting and one of the main principles of GAAP. The revenue recognition principle is a set of guidelines that helps accountants to identify when a revenue event has taken place and how to appropriately record cash exchanges before, during, and after the revenue event. According to the revenue recognition principal, revenue must (1) be realized or realizable and (2) earned, in order to be recognized. According to the SEC revenue is realized when (1) Persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (2) Delivery has occurred or services have been rendered, (3) The seller’s price to the buyer is fixed or determinable, and (4) Collectability is reasonably assured. It is essential
In addition to accountants providing many useful numbers that signal a company’s performance, they also prepare many useful documents and a code of ethics to make sure that all stakeholders have a clear picture on the business’s financial position. For instance, journaling is what accountants do after every transaction. These entries of what is exchanged in a business provide evidence that money deserves to be in a certain account. Especially since every journal entry needs a corresponding document that proves the record did happen, journals can be used by executives to see what really occurred in case a number in an account looks wrong (Schneider). It is also used when a government official suspects that the company is unfairly representing itself to either indict the business or prove its innocence. Journaling illustrates the importance of accounting since everything is documented and has proof for existence in the case of errors. One thing that journals go hand-in-hand with is the general ledger. This is the document that actually lists each individual account and the amount in it. It organizes the overall picture of every entity a business comes in contact with so that every important number can be put neatly into a financial statement.
| Below is an excerpt from the cash flow statement of a firm for fiscal year 2003: Cash flows from operating activities: Net income Adjustments to reconcile net income to net cash provided by operating activities: Depreciation and amortization Amortization of software Tax benefits of employee stock plans Special charges (Gains)/losses on investments Change in operating assets and liabilities: Receivables Inventories Pension assets Other assets Accounts payable Pension liabilities Other liabilities Net cash provided by operating activities Cash flows from investing activities: Payments for plant and other property Proceeds from disposition of plant and other property Investment in software Purchases of marketable securities and other investments Proceeds from disposition of marketable securities and other investments Net cash used in investing activities
WorldCom’s board of directors was comprised mostly of “former owners, officers, or directors of companies acquired by WorldCom” (Kaplan and Kiron, 2007 p. 10).