ZZZZ Best Company: The Backlash Essay

845 Words Dec 23rd, 2012 4 Pages
Case 1.9 ZZZZ Best Company, Inc,
1. Ernst & Whinney audit firm suffered tremendously from the backlash of ZZZZ Best’s case. One of the issues stemming from ZZZZ Best’s case is the difference between a review and an audit as evidence by civil suit filed by a California bank against the firm. The bank claimed that its decision to grant ZZZZ Best’s loan was based on the opinion of Ernst & Whinney review of ZZZZ Best’s financial statements period ending July 31, 1986. The case was ruled in favor of Ernst & Whinney as the audit firm had expressly stated in their report that it was not issuing an opinion and the bank should not have rely heavily on the review report. Also, ZZZZ Best was a public company at the time, a review of its
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Ernst & Whinney should have evaluated the reliability of the insurance restoration contracts since it was created internally by ZZZZ Best. Furthermore, the limited details in the contracts as noted in the ten red flags that ZZZZ Best’s auditors allegedly overlooked should have raised certain professional skepticism of the auditors. While performing analytical procedures on ZZZZ Best’s financial statement, its auditors failed to notice the substantial excess in its profit margin for restoration projects comparing to the rest of the industry. Physical examination, although a very reliable type of evidence for auditors, was unreliable in this case. Barry Minkow and his accomplices went to great length to cover up their fraud and successfully deceived their auditor. Moreover, the auditors did not have the authority to corroborate evidence with outside third-party due to the confidentiality agreement with ZZZZ Best.
4. The Congressional subcommittee showed interest in whether there were any communications between the predecessor-successor auditors. Greenspan, a predecessor auditor of ZZZZ Best stated that it is protocol for a successor auditor to initiate communications. However, it is now required by auditing standards (AU 315) that a successor auditor has to communicate with predecessor auditor for prospective client. The purpose for this communication…