Arthur Anderson: Questionable Accounting Practices Case Study

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  • Topic: Enron, Audit, Big Four auditors
  • Pages : 5 (1508 words )
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  • Published : December 9, 2011
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Arthur Andersen LLP, which is over a span of nearly 90 years, would become one of the "Big five" largest accounting firms in the United States. Moreover, the accounting firm seen as the symbol of trust, integrity and ethic. The good reputation is derived from the advent of consulting business, which was developed by Leonard Spack. However, with the growth of consulting services, many accounting firms viewed it as a successful model that should be emulated, so that the competition pressure increasing sharply. Eventually, Andersen failed to withstand the pressure. Thus, it leaded to a negative influence on Andersen's corporate culture, which enabled Andersen to be more interested in its own revenue growth through ethical and legal misconducts, such as accounting irregularities and fraud. 1.Describe the legal and ethical issues surrounding Andersen’s auditing of companies accused of accounting improprieties.

In this case study, in my opinion, the causes of that the Andersen’s auditing of companies accused of accounting improprieties, it’s has a main factor. Because Athur Andersen do not think about the company who is to cooperate whit it is like Athur Andersen to make deceptive accounting. These four real cases to show us how they operate the deceptive accounting. First point, “Sunbeam.”

1997 sunlight company (SUNBEAM) the bankruptcy case, the sunlight company is referred to the forge sales volume, the profit and the expenditure. Under its partner discrete sampling's premise, Andersen had still approved the sunlight company to have the questionable point financial reporting. Finally, Sunlight Company suspends pay. Claim request which proposed regarding the American negotiable securities and the transaction committee, Andersen strong against. Finally, to accuse in the situation which shows neither approval nor disapproval, Andersen and the shareholder out of court settlement, compensates $110million dollars. Second point, “waste management.”

Waste Management the company to make a false report gathers shares the desk, Waste Management Company’s financial reporting 1992 to 1996 income false report to amount to $1.4 billion dollars to the company. The American negotiable securities and the transaction committee discovered that Andersen's report of audit is not extremely real, and has the misleading function. Rules it to be a suspect the improper occupation operation finally. Andersen has accepted this ruling, and has paid damages $7 million dollars civil fines, but to it whether should say nothing pro or con responsible. The Andersen also agreement is $220 million dollar out of court settlement payment partial funds, but had not acknowledged that oneself have any error. Third point is “Baptist Foundation of Arizona”.

BFA invested heavily in real estate, a more speculative investment strategy than other Baptist foundations in the state traditionally used. Profits from investments were supposed to be used to fund the churches’ ministries and numerous charitable causes. Problems began when the real estate market in Arizona suffered a downturn, and BFA’s management came under pressure to show a profit. Fourth point is the most important point, “Enron”.

Andersen in 1985 established the beginning from the Enron to make the audit for it, has done the entire 16 years. Besides the pure audit, Andersen also provides the management audit and the advisory service. In the mid-1990s, Andersen with signed a subsidiary agreement safely, Andersen has assumed full responsibility the management audit work safely. Not only that Enron's referral service also completely is responsible by Andersen. Andersen’s auditing of companies from 1997 to 2001 fictitious profit $586 million dollars, and hid several billions US dollar debts. The US Supervisory department's investigation discovered that in Enron's employees more than 100 come from Andersen unexpectedly, including chief accountant and the Chief Financial Officer and so on senior clerk,...
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