Phar-Mar Inc. Accounting Scandal

2267 Words Jul 4th, 2006 10 Pages
Summary

Phar-Mor, Inc. was a deep-discount store that had substantial growth in a short period of time. It started with 15 stores and grew to over 310 stores in thirty two states between 1985 and 1992. At first Phar-Mor was seen as a major prospect in the retail market. With sales of over $3 billion and growing, Phar-Mor's success even worried some of the biggest retail giant, including Wal-mart. The president, founder, and COO of Phar-Mor was Mickey Monus, who became quite extravagant with his money as Phar-Mor grew. The key to the company's success was "power buying" a phrase coined by Mr. Monus, it was a practice of stocking up on products when suppliers where offering rock-bottom prices. After using this "power buying" strategy
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The Fraud

Phar-Mor, Inc. applied a variety of different fraudulent reporting techniques to "cook the books" and commit one of the biggest corporate frauds in American history. A number of things were done to cover up the massive losses the company was taking including issuing fake invoices for merchandise purchases, making fake journal entries in order to increase inventory and decrease cost of sales, recognizing inventory purchases but then not accruing the corresponding liability, and over-counting merchandise.
Since their prices were way too low, eventually profit margins began to decline very fast, this resulted in millions of losses. Instead of disclosing and recording these losses, President Monus along with the CFO Pat Finn and two other high ranking officials, decided to cross out the correct numbers insert highly inflated numbers, during this a sub ledger with the real numbers was also being kept. After a few months of this practice Pat Finn the CFO took on the responsibility of altering the numbers. By mid 1990 Monus's refusal to raise prices led to even more cover ups and eventually more members of the organization began to get involved in the fake reporting including the manager of accounting and the Controller. By the time the fraud was discovered executives at Phar-Mor had misstated financial statements by over $500 million.
Overstating inventory was a major part of the…

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