18 Oct

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. Read More

01 Apr

Groupon’s Latest Accounting Problem

On Friday, the market eagerly awaited the release of Groupon’s (GRPN)10-K, detailing results for the year ended December 31, 2011. Shares were up 3.84% during regular trading hours, but dropped as much as 8% (eventually settling at -5.93%) in after hours trading when the company announced its figures were not as good as reported in February.

Revised Numbers

Some news sites are billing this as a restatement, although it would appear to be more of a revision to the numbers, as the original numbers were simply cited in an earnings release and the financial statements weren’t actually issued until Friday. Read More

30 Oct

Green Mountain Coffee: Accounting Irregularities and Other Concerns

gmcr green mountain coffee roastersA couple of weeks ago, David Einhorn bashed Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) in a 110-slide presentation called “GAAP-uccino” at the Value Investing Conference, sending the company’s shares down. The stock opened at $91.66, and closed at $82.50 the day of his presentation. Over the next two weeks, the stock closed as low as $61.59, with the stock ending last week at $70.99.

The stock had been hovering between $100 and $110 a share in September, despite warnings by others that Green Mountain has been manipulating numbers and could become the target of a full-blown investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Sam Antar, the former CFO of massive fraud Crazy Eddie, has been critical about Green Mountain for some time. He has been vocal about the company’s disclosures, accounting irregularities, and GAAP violations. Read More

11 Oct

Atlanta home builder Beazer restating results

Beazer Homes USA has completed an internal investigation into accounting problems and will restate its financials from 1999 through 2007.

The results of the investigation: Employees in the mortgage unit violated HUD rules on downpayment assistance since at least 2000. Beazer might have to reimburse some losses on federally insured loans because of this. The liability is estimated at $8 million to $15 million, the amount for which the company thinks the government will settle. Read More

18 Mar

Accounting Problems at GM; Last Year’s Losses Increase

The board of directors of General Motors Corp is asking for an investigation into newly revealed accounting errors which have delayed the filing of its annual report. The SEC filing of its 10-K will be delayed because of accounting errors found in the residential mortgage business of GM’s finance arm, General Motors Acceptance Corp. In addition, other accounting mistakes have been found, and these will cause the company to restate earnings from 2000 to 2005. Read More