Cooking the Books: Financial Statement Revisions

In the current issue of Forbes magazine, accounting watchdog Francine McKenna has written an article about the SEC’s failure to take a hard line on accounting fraud in public companies. Despite all of the high profile accounting frauds uncovered in the past decade, the Securities & Exchange Commission appears to be focusing its efforts on going after Ponzi schemes rather than accounting fraud. Francine reports that of the 735 enforcement actions brought by the SEC in 2011, only 89 were related to fraudulent or misleading accounting and disclosures by public companies.

Some people say that Sarbanes Oxley has been doing its job relative to increasing prevention and detection of accounting fraud, but evidence of that is almost non-existent.  Auditors would have the public believe that auditors are being more effective in finding and reporting fraud, but the evidence does not back this up.

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Overstock.com Cooking the Books?

This is Sam Antar’s final installment in his three part series on all the “unusual” things showing up in Overstock’s financial statements. Unusual because they don’t align with multiple statements made by CEO Patrick Byrne in a variety of interviews and earnings calls.

The bottom line is this: Byrne and Overstock management have made statements about their inventory that cannot possibly all be true. They are in conflict and cannot coexist, therefore at least some of the statements must be false.

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