Manual What Every Investor Needs to Know About Accounting Fraud

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According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, investors want to know about five things :. Banking analysts and investors believe that clarifying these issues in the financial reports will help investors understand the big picture, reduce their frustration and restore their confidence in the corporation. In a more general sense, investors would like additional information and clarification in the following areas :.

Businesses that take a hard look at each of these areas and how they communicate information to their shareholders will find that these processes are equally helpful to their business strategies. Communicating with investors is crucial to helping shareholders maintain a high level of confidence in their investments. Companies will need to find ways to branch out with new businesses to generate long-term growth.

Companies also need to take a look at the specific areas of information that shareholders want more information about and open up discussions about issues that concern them. Creating shareholder value will help to restore the trust between corporations and investors that harsh economic times have lost. Efficiency is a key component of nonprofit board meetings. Donors and constituents expect nonprofits to….

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Last week a prospective client asked us how BoardEffect users typically measure organizational cost savings…. Communicating Growth Cycles and Patterns to Shareholders One of the ways that corporations can begin to overcome the issues of mistrust that their fellow corporations created is to communicate information to their investors about the types of cycles and patterns that create immediate growth and long-term growth. Balancing Existing Business with Developing New Business Ventures Strong competitors and tight profit margins make it difficult for companies to show high short-term profits on a continuing basis.

Pursuing New Business Ventures Is the Key to Long-Term Growth To realize continued long-term growth, companies need to get out of their comfort zones and seek out new opportunities for business. What Are the Key Issues for Investors? According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, investors want to know about five things : Liquidity reporting Reporting of risk-weighted assets How banks are making money Sovereign debt and commercial real estate transactions Impairment and own credit Banking analysts and investors believe that clarifying these issues in the financial reports will help investors understand the big picture, reduce their frustration and restore their confidence in the corporation.

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We decided the best way to pivot away from the financial crisis cases and refocus on accounting fraud was through the task force model. As you know, three years ago, we created five specialized units to handle specific areas of the securities laws. We did not at that time create an accounting fraud unit.

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There were many reasons for that, including that such a unit would need to be very large, would have to include many lawyers and accountants, and that accounting fraud cases are the bread and butter of many different parts of the Division. Those same concerns are still with us now, as we look to the future. We decided instead that what we needed was a small group of people focused on case generation — on exploring proactive initiatives that would generate new accounting fraud investigations for staff in the Division to pursue.

There are a lot of promising methods out there for determining the companies on which we should be focused. We have new ways of crunching data that allow us to isolate potential red flags and trends; other regulators are uncovering potential issues; whistleblowers are bringing us invaluable information But we thought we needed a group of people to focus on harnessing all of these resources.

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  8. Often, when you get a group of smart people in a room focused on a problem, you can find the answer. Kind of reminds me of that scene in Apollo 13 where they bring all of the disparate tools available on the space capsule into a room, dump it on to a table in front of a bunch of smart people, and say find a way to fix the problem.

    This is our Apollo 13 moment. The task force has about 12 staffers, both lawyers and accountants. Its objective is to improve our ability to detect and prevent financial statement and other accounting fraud.


    It will be devoted to developing state-of-the-art methodologies that better uncover accounting fraud and incubating cases that will then be handled by other groups within the Enforcement Division. To fulfill its mandate and find promising investigations, the task force is launching various initiatives. These may include closely monitoring high-risk companies to identify potential misconduct, analyzing performance trends by industry, reviewing class action and other filings related to alleged fraudulent financial reporting, tapping into academic work on accounting and auditing fraud, and conducting street sweeps in particular industries and accounting areas.

    With this tool, we can better compare performance across industries and detect outliers that suggest possible fraud. As for specific areas of focus, I anticipate that the task force and our investigative staff will continue to cover a wide variety of issues. For example:. While we expect that the task force will develop additional methodologies for uncovering fraud, and will generate additional cases, it is also important to note that we recently brought several significant financial reporting cases and have plenty more in the pipeline.

    We also charged BP with misleading investors during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill by significantly understating the oil flow rate in multiple reports filed with the SEC. And we charged a Fortune company for various accounting deficiencies that distorted their financial reporting to investors in the midst of the financial crisis.

    We also brought an action against the Chinese affiliates of the Big Four accounting firms for refusing to produce audit work papers and other documents related to China-based companies under investigation by the SEC for potential accounting fraud against U. The coming weeks will see some additional accounting fraud and disclosure cases being brought.

    Ultimately, the task force demonstrates our renewed commitment to prosecute those who betray the trust of the public markets.

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    7. But bringing actions after the fact is no substitute for full and honest disclosure at the outset. Enforcement actions are little comfort for investors who lost their savings after relying on misrepresentations and half-truths. Shareholders should be able to rely on accurate accounting, effective auditing, and transparent financial reporting. And we believe that our renewed focus on accounting and financial reporting fraud will result in better compliance within the industry by sending a clear, strong message that deters both current and future wrongdoers.

      Finally, let me be clear that we will use all the tools in our arsenal, including disgorgement, monetary penalties and e bars against accountants. Sarbanes Section also provides us with the ability to claw back bonus money received or the proceeds of stock sales that occurred during a period when the company's financial statements were misstated.

      And in appropriate cases we will exercise this authority. I should add that accounting fraud cases take lots of resources and effort. They often require a lot of financial analysis, mounds of documents, and lots of testimony. But we are prepared to devote the resources. These are important cases and our performance should be judged by the quality, and not the quantity, of our cases. And we will in appropriate cases seek admissions to the misconduct under our new settlement approach of seeking admissions of facts in certain types of cases.

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      As many of you know, our settlement approach, much like numerous other federal regulators, had been to settle essentially all of our cases on a no-admit-no-deny basis. The SEC has been incredibly successful in achieving great settlements with this policy and it will still be an important approach that applies in most cases. This settlement approach has allowed us to achieve quick results and provide prompt relief to investors, while also allowing us to conserve resources and eliminate litigation risk.

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      Explains common accounting maneuvers, distortions, and outright deceptions that savvy investors must be able to recognize. This book provides investors with: methods for uncovering scams that distort revenues, hide expenses; studies of infamous accounting frauds and how they could have been avoided; Last seen price R Log in to your account to manage your alerts.

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