Called to Account
Fourteen Financial Frauds that Shaped the American Accounting Profession
Routledge – 2009 – 360 pages
Accounting fraud and how it has affected business practices both in the U.S. and internationally has never been of greater importance than it is now. Called to Account describes fourteen financial frauds that influenced the American public accounting profession and directly led to the development of accounting standards and legislation as practiced in the US today. This entertaining and educational look at these historic frauds helps enliven and increase understanding of auditing and forensic accounting for students.
Chapters describe the tricks fraudsters such as "Crazy Eddie" Antar and "Chainsaw Al" Dunlap used to fool their auditors. Readers will learn how MiniScribe employees disguised packages of bricks as inventory; how Equity Funding personnel programmed the company’s computer to generate 64,000 phony life insurance policies; and how Enron inflated its profits by selling and then repurchasing money-losing assets.
Complementing these chapters on high-profile crimes and criminals are chapters that trace the development of the public accounting profession and explain how each scandal shaped current accounting practices. Designed to complement dry, uninvolving auditing and advanced accounting texts with an engaging narrative, Called to Account also includes discussion questions and a useful chart which shows instructors and students how each chapter illustrates topics in leading accounting and auditing textbooks.
"Called to Account tells a fascinating story of the repeating cycle of frauds and reforms in the accounting industry. Paul Clikeman brilliantly captures the human dimension of each fraud and provides a rich discussion of the resulting reforms. Students learn that accounting fraud is not new and that efforts to reform the financial system are heavily influenced by politics. I have not found another book that entertains and illuminates like Called to Account does. Your students will love this book."--Dana R. Hermanson, Dinos Eminent Scholar Chair of Private Enterprise, Kennesaw State University
"I used the text in my graduate auditing class, and my students loved it. The text provides students with important insights into the accounting profession and how it has transformed over time due to frauds and regulatory intervention. It is an excellent tool for generating class discussion. I will definitely use this text in future auditing courses." --Susan H. Ivancevich, Dixon Hughes Faculty Fellow, University of North Carolina Wilmington
"…volume will be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the development of public accounting and financial reporting in the US. … An excellent reference and recourse list complements the book… Highly recommended." -- CHOICE (Aug 2009, Vol. 46); S. R. Kahn, University of Cincinnati
Preface 1. Scandal and Reform Part I: Birth of a Profession 2. Out of Darkness 3. Ivar Kreuger 4. McKesson & Robbins 5. Into the Spotlight Part II: The Profession’s Principle Problem 6. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles 7. National Student Marketing 8. Equity Funding 9. Déjà Vu Part III: The Savings & Loan Crisis 10. It’s a Wonderful Life? 11. ESM Government Securities 12. Lincoln Savings & Loan 13. Bank Robbers Part IV: The Expectation Gap 14. Auditors and Fraud 15. ZZZZ Best 16. Crazy Eddie 17. Closing the Gap Part V: The Litigation Crisis 18. Auditors’ Legal Liability 19. Fund of Funds 20. MiniScribe 21. Litigation Reform Part VI: Beginning of the End 22. Auditor Independence 23. Waste Management 24. Sunbeam 25. End of the Millennium Part VII: From Profession to Regulated Industry 26. Professionalism 27. Enron 28. WorldCom 29. The Perfect Storm 30. Conclusion Appendix A: Discussion Questions Appendix B: Suggestions for Integrating Called to Account with Popular Auditing Texts
Paul Clikeman is Associate Professor of Accounting at the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond.