Groupon: Restated Numbers Reveal Failure of Business

In July, critics attacked Groupon (GRPN) and it use of a made-up accounting measure management called Adjusted CSOI. I suggested that the company made up the measure to exclude many of the company’s expenses to make the company look more successful.

There was more to the story, however, as the Grumpy Old Accountants revealed Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) violations in reporting revenue. Essentially, Groupon was recording more than twice the amount of revenue it should have been reporting under GAAP. The Grumpies explained:

Read moreGroupon: Restated Numbers Reveal Failure of Business

CFO Magazine: Creating a Culture of Compliance

I was recently quoted in CFO Magazine for an article on creating an ethical culture within companies. Below are a few excerpts, including my comments.

In December, the federal government cited a “lax corporate control environment” at Alcatel, which extended right up to the CEO and CFO, as a primary cause of the scandal. It was a finding that more companies should take to heart.

Nearly a decade after the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, and amid heightened FCPA enforcement, the responsibility for shaping what is often called a “culture of compliance” inside U.S. corporations falls heavily on the C-suite — and, more than ever, on the CFO.

Read moreCFO Magazine: Creating a Culture of Compliance

TSA Agent Thedala Magee Rapes Passenger, Then Demands Money

As the United States goes back to normal, following our remembrance of September 11, 2001, one of the most offensive bits of “normal” continues at airports. We, the citizens of the United States, allow the Transportation Security Administration to shame, humiliate, and violate us every single day. (See a photo of the kind of thing I’m talking about here.)

Today I focus on one Thedala Magee, a TSA employee who violated Amy Alkon in an airport. What Thedala Magee did, as described by Alkon, is nothing short of sexual assault. But it was sanctioned and allowed by our government in the name of “safety” at airports.

You may have already heard the story about Thedala Magee’s lawyer, Vicki Roberts, sending a threatening letter to Amy Alkon, demanding $500,000 for publicly saying that Magee raped her.

Read moreTSA Agent Thedala Magee Rapes Passenger, Then Demands Money

Forensic Accountant Builds Successful Practice by Billing For Value, Not Time

International Association for Asset RecoveryThe path from Marquette undergraduate to forensic accounting expert was an unexpected one for Tracy Coenen. But she hadn’t counted on a chance semester of Financial Criminal Investigations and the impression left by her professor, a former IRS special agent.

“It was somewhat accidental and somewhat not,” Coenen said. Her professor explained the intricacies of financial investigations and how these cases could be cracked using techniques of accounting, as opposed to street maneuvers. Intrigued by the class content, Coenen, then majoring in criminology and law studies, used all her elective credits to take business and accounting classes to carve out a niche for her newfound interest. “That’s what got me interested in it, and then I had to figure out how to get into the private sector.”

Read moreForensic Accountant Builds Successful Practice by Billing For Value, Not Time