More on Why Auditor Rotation Won’t Improve Audits

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Two weeks ago, I wrote a short piece on the possibility of PCAOB requiring public companies to rotate auditors on a regular basis. Today’s article delves more deeply into the topic, and more clearly lays out the reasons why it won’t work…. and this time I even included independent statistics.

This article was written for an organization that invited me to write about fraud for one of their monthly e-newsletters for corporate finance professionals. The article was rejected because it appeared to criticize the organization and the audit process. Apparently, offering ideas on what might be wrong with audits or how to improve audits is not allowed. Thus, I am publishing the article here. Continue reading

Crystal Cox, Extortionist? You Decide.

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For the last several days, a variety of bloggers and news outlets have been talking about Crystal Cox and her attempted shakedown of people she has smeared on the internet. If you want the whole sordid story, read this engaging summary of the antics of “altruistic investigative blogger” Crystal Cox.

Poor Crystal Cox has a problem. She used the internet to smear people she perceived as doing wrong. (I have yet to find any actual evidence of wrongdoing, but apparently Crystal thinks if she yells long enough and loud enough, someone will believe her.) Now the internet is fighting back, and shining a light on her shenanigans, and Crystal is none too happy about it. Continue reading

Book Review: The Forensic Accounting Deskbook

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The Forensic Accounting Deskbook by Memphis divorce attorney Miles Mason is billed as a guide to financial investigations for family lawyers. This designation sells the book short. The book is an outstanding guide to financial analysis and forensic accounting not only for attorneys, but also for accountants and fraud investigators. Professionals at any level – – from beginner to seasoned expert witness – – can learn much from this book.

The book is exceptionally well organized, with numerous guides and examples that can be used as templates or guides for your current cases. The Forensic Accounting Deskbook begins with an introduction to forensic accounting and engaging the right CPA for your case.  It then moves into accounting for lawyers, which is an excellent overview. Many of the common accounting buzzwords and catch phrases are defined, and knowing what these mean will be invaluable to the attorney. The more you know about the financial issues, the better you can advocate for your client. Continue reading

Groupon’s Latest Accounting Problem

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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. Continue reading