@Forbes “Charlie Sheen And Public Company Disclosure”

You may think I’m stretching, but this post has garnered quite a few hits and several comments on Twitter, including from my Forbes boss, Dan Bigman, the Executive Editor for Business News. Is Charlie Sheen big enough to have a material effect on either CBS Corporation (CBS) or TimeWarner, Inc financial results? Warner Brothers (WB), a division […]

The Button-Down Mafia: How the Public Accounting Firms Run a Racket on Investors and Thrive While Their Clients Fail

Enron, WorldCom, HealthSouth, Tyco, Parmalat, Adelphia, AIG…You would think enough lessons had been learned. The financial markets are a mess and the capitalist system threatened. The systems in place to anticipate and preempt market risk failed completely.

Whistleblowers Are Not Pretty

This article was originally published at GoingConcern.com on March 3, 2010. Most don’t wear stilettos, although Cynthia Cooper is fairly attractive for a blond. Harry Markopolos, the Madoff “hero” whose new book is out is being called a whistleblower. I do not see him really warming up to that label or really warming up at […]

Barney Less Than Frank About Auditor Reform

What do you get when you mix public pressure, lobbyist money and legislators that think doing anything is better than finally doing the right thing? Not one provision of either current House or Senate financial regulatory reform legislation touches the accounting industry.

Nowhere To Hide: Ernst & Young Looking At More Civil Liability For Lehman Failure

The mainstream media (MSM) is now paying attention to the Big 4 – Deloitte, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young.

The financial crisis is now about accounting fraud.

Every two-bit journalist and blogger on the business beat is spitting out stories to keep up and one-up each other. It’s not every day that the accounting firms provide so much gossip about spectacular criminal and civil penalties. Well, actually, it is every day.

Let Me Tell You A Funny Story: Lehman’s Repo 105 Accounting

When a new batch of Ernst & Young auditors arrived at Lehman Brothers each year, Repo 105 transactions must have caused debate. After all, a transaction that’s called a “Repo,” short for “repurchase”, but that’s actually recorded on the books as a sale, is a little odd. It may have even quacked.

Financial Journalism and Its Discontents: Covering Auditors’ Role in the Crisis

Bloggers and other non-traditional media have the disadvantages, though, of fewer resources, no editor and the reputation for being irresponsible and scurrilous that we think is undeserved. The financial “blogosphere” acts as a collective editor, filtering out and demoting inaccurate unfair and irresponsible accounts, and promoting useful, inventive and original content in a collaborative way that mitigates each of our own limitations…”

Sarbanes-Oxley Doublespeak

“A law by itself does not bring benefits. Measure the benefits of the moral and ethical behaviors the law promotes and requires, instead.”

Top Hedge Fund Investors: Stories, Strategies, and Advice – A Book Review

Cathleen Rittereiser asked me to review her new book, Top Hedge Fund Investors: Stories, Strategies, and Advice. Given my lack of objectivity about Cathleen’s fabulousness and minimal knowledge of the hedge fund industry, I asked a hedge fund industry veteran, David Fialkowski, to help me.

@Forbes: Insider Trading and a Review of the Spitzer Documentary

My Forbes column usually appears on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, my Thursday column appeared on Saturday. Got that? Go here to read, Accounting Watchdog. Columns for the week ending November 28, 2010: One of the big stories last week was the raid on hedge funds by a combination strike force of SEC, FBI and […]

Do Prospective Inspections of Broker-Dealer Auditors Present An Opportunity?

There’s nothing worse than the appearance of regulatory infrastructure and enforcement without the consistent and forceful execution of that regulatory mandate…

The Future of Fraud Investigations: A Guest Post From Tracy Coenen

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, CFF is a forensic accountant and fraud investigator with Sequence Inc. in Milwaukee and Chicago. She has conducted hundreds of high-stakes investigations involving financial statement fraud, securities fraud, investment fraud, bankruptcy and receivership, and criminal defense. Tracy is the author of Expert Fraud Investigation: A Step-by-Step Guide and Essentials of Corporate […]