Worldcom Accounting Scandal Essays

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Accounting Scandals

...like Madoff’s case, he trusted his sons but they even let their father get caught. If it is me, I won’t even know what to do in the first place but it is good to know that the sons did what is right. The results of the scandals are different. Some had their corresponding penalties and some are freed after the hearing or investigation. I hope that everyone involved was only given enough years in their sentence and was given a chance to live outside the jail. But maybe there are some reasons why some still live normally outside the prison after all and some like Madoff who was sentenced for 150 years of imprisonment. I really hope that accountants and future ones will d their jobs as what the program taught while studying. Being honest and responsible for the things they’re handling. Also, as a student under this program, if I will not be a good accountant in the future, I hope I can be kicked out of this. I will never like to be guilty of whatever that will make me and my family live in shame. My dream is to lift my family to a better living but never push down people who also have the dreams like mine. Actually, in the beginning of this reflection, I really have nothing to say sentence after sentence but as I go on, it really made me think of the scandals I’ve read. Their company is really on top and why they’d still take the risk of turning down what they’d work for so many years. Pathetic....

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Satyam Accounting Scandal

...committed to being a responsible corporate citizen that leverages best practices wherever possible." In September 2008, the World Council for Corporate Governance awarded Satyam with the "Global Peacock Award" for global excellence in corporate accountability. Unfortunately, less than five months after winning the Global Peacock Award, Satyam became the centerpiece of a massive accounting fraud. . Fraud Is Uncovered The discussion below will first show how problems started to appear and how the CEO eventually disclosed the fraud. The discussion will also identify the roles that various parties had in the fraud. 1. First Cracks Appear As stock markets around the world collapsed during 2008, the Indian Stock Exchange, the Sensex, fell from a high of over 21,000 to below 8,000 between January 2008 and October 2008. The enormous losses caused investors to withdraw large amounts of cash from their investments. These cash withdrawals in turn triggered the discovery of several cases of financial fraud in America, as perpetrators could no longer hide the results. The discovery of high-profile financial scandals increased scrutiny on governance practices and companies' financial statements. To quote Warren Buffet, "It's only when the tide goes out that you realize who has been swimming naked." Satyam continued to report positive results during 2008 and claimed success in navigating the economic crisis. In October 2008, Satyam reported net income of $132.3 million, an increase of......

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Accounting Scandal

...Accounting Scandals: Responsible Stewardship and Integrity AOL Time Warner 1. Summary of the events that led to the accounting scandal. AOL was the major face in the Internet scene for four years, between1994 to 1999, by using aggressive advertising contracts instead of charging subscription fees to their users. When internet advertising became more and more popular, AOL’s stock rose by an extremely large amount. Due to this tremendous response from investors, enhancing revenues in order to keep the stock prices favorable for AOL TW’s stockholders became the core objective of the AOL management and its employees (Cantoria). In 2000, a new company called AOL Time Warner was created when AOL purchased Time Warner for $164 billion. The deal announced on January 10, 2000 and officially filed on February 11, 2000, this merger in which each original company had a creative opportunity to merge into a newly created entity. Immediately before and after AOL’s merger with Time Warner, top executives at the internet company used tricks, contrivances and false transactions to inflate the value of AOL stock while liquidating their shares in a selling frenzy to enrich themselves to the tune of $936 million. 2. The financial accounting that was performed in the scandal. In 2001 and 2002, the company inflated its online advertising revenue by $400 million in connection with transactions with Bertelsmann. Bertelsmann paid $400 million as consideration for amendments to the......

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Worldcom and Ethics in Accounting

...Running Head: WORLDCOM AND ETHICS IN ACCOUNTING 1 WorldCom and Ethics in Accounting Brian Bartram Professor Hogan Strayer University Accounting 557 11/05/2012 WORLDCOM AND ETHICS IN ACCOUNTING 2 There have been many corporate and ethical breeches over the years in financial record keeping but it is believed that the current business and regulatory environment is conducive to ethical behavior. Unfortunately, publically traded companies have been prone to the proverb “one bad apple spoils the barrel”. When unethical practices are exposed, of a publically traded company, the effects can be tremendous and affect every individual or entity that is tied to the organization. For ethical principles to apply to companies, it must be shown that they can be considered moral or ethically responsible institutions. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is a US regulatory agency that has the authority to establish accounting standards for publically traded companies ("Quickmba financial accounting," 2010). When the SEC was established in 1934 there was no accounting standards issuing body. The SEC has encouraged the private sector to set the standards. In 1939, encouraged by the SEC, the American Institute of Certified Public Accounts (AICPA) formed the Committee on Accounting Procedure (CAP) which dealt with accounting issues as they arose from 1939 to......

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Worldcom Accounting Fraud

...Assignment # 3 WorldCom Accounting Fraud The purpose of this paper is to discuss the aspects of the WorldCom accounting scandal and the effects that this scandal had on the accounting world as we know it. We will discuss the corporate culture at WorldCom and how it contributed to the accounting fraud, how the CEO’s desire to be the #1 stock on Wall Street contributed to the fraud, pressures on accountants to book and release accruals to meet expectations, pros and cons of whistleblowing, and the creditability of the accounting profession when corporate fraud is revealed. First, we must look at WorldCom as a business standpoint. The driving factor behind this fraud was the business strategy of WorldCom's CEO, Bernie Ebbers. In the 1990s, Ebbers was clearly focused on achieving impressive growth through acquisitions. How was he going to pay for this acquisition binge? He paid for the acquisitions by using the stock of WorldCom. To accomplish this buying spree, the stock had to continually increase in value. "... WorldCom pursued scores of increasingly large acquisitions. The strategy reached its apex with WorldCom's acquisition in 1998 of MCI Communications, a company with more than two-and-a-half times the revenue of WorldCom. Ebbers' acquisition strategy largely came to an end by early 2000 when WorldCom was forced to abandon a proposed merger with Sprint (NYSE: S) because of antitrust objections ..." (Federal Bankruptcy Report, 2002) The fraud was...

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10 Major Accounting Scandals

...Unraveling the Details of 10 High-Profile Accounting Scandals written by: ciel s cantoria • edited by: Linda Richter • updated: 12/30/2010 Before digging into the dirty details of each of these major accounting scandals, we’ll take a look at some of the tools that were used to first detect them – including sophisticated accounting systems and advancements in high-tech communication. Technology Fighting Against White Collar Fraud Looking back at the 10 major accounting scandals that changed the business world, it was noted that most of their unraveling came about during the turn of the new millennium, which was a time when the American trade and industries were beginning to experience the benefits and detriments of high-tech computerization. Information storage and communication became sophisticated, which made possible the compilation of hordes of information in an instant. Recording and verification of accounting transactions in realtime were made easier and more accurate, which facilitated the reconciliation of supporting documents versus sources, with very little effort needed. Federal regulators were provided with data that revealed the corrupt practices of high-profile companies and their CEOs. Their bankruptcies became inevitable as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and financial analysts began to see the signs of irregularities among numerous companies. When the SEC ordered the restatement of their financial reports in accordance with the GAAP rules, it...

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Accounting Fraud at Worldcom

...BERT S. KAPLAN D A VI D KIR O N Accounting Fraud at WorldCom WorldCom could not have failed as a result of the actions of a limited number of individuals. Rather, there was a broad breakdown of the system of internal controls, corporate governance and individual responsibility, all of which worked together to create a culture in which few persons took responsibility until it was too late . — Richard Thornburgh, former U.S. attorney general1 On July 21, 2002, WorldCom Group, a telecommunications company with more than $30 billion in revenues, $104 billion in assets, and 60,000 employees, filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Between 1999 and 2002, WorldCom had overstated its pretax income by at least $7 billion; a deliberate miscalculation that was, at the time, the largest in history. The company subsequently wrote down about $82 billion (more than 75%) of its reported assets.2 WorldCom’s stock, once valued at $180 billion, became nearly worthless. Seventeen thousand employees lost their jobs; many left the company with worthless retirement accounts. The company’s bankruptcy also jeopardized service to WorldCom’s 20 million retail customers and on government contracts affecting 80 million Social Security beneficiaries, air traffic control for the Federal Aviation Association, network management for the Department of Defense and long-distance services for both houses of Congress and the General Accounting......

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Accounting Fraud at Worldcom

...Accounting Fraud at WorldCom 1) What are the pressures that lead executives and managers to “cook the books?” After the rapid evolution of the telecommunication industry in the 1990s, WorldCom shifted its strategy to focus on building revenues and acquiring capacity sufficient to handle expected growth. Their biggest goal was to be the No. 1 stock on Wall Street rather than capturing the market share. As a result, their Expense-to-Revenue (E/R) Ratio was their measurement for their main objective (increase revenues and become the No. 1 stock on Wall Street). Due to heightened competition, overcapacity and the reduced demand for telecommunication services at the onset of the economic recession and the aftermath of the dot-com bubble collapse, the telecommunication industry conditions began to deteriorate. Prices were falling and WorldCom had no option but to cut their prices as well. This action placed severe pressure on WorldCom’s most important measurement, the E/R ratio. The E/R ratio was being affected due to revenue and pricing pressures while the committed line cost was still the same. 2) Is there a boundary between earnings management and fraudulent reporting? If so, what is it? “Earnings Management is recognized as attempts by management to influence or manipulate reported earnings by using specific accounting methods (or changing methods), recognizing one-time non-recurring items, deferring or accelerating expense or revenue transactions, or using......

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Accounting Fraud at Worldcom

...Accounting Fraud at WorldCom WorldCom grew rapidly in the 1980-90s through its various inorganic acquisitions – the resultant was a corporation with a hotchpotch of diverse and unaligned cultures. Exacerbating the situation, the Management (including the Board of Directors and CEO Ebbers) did little,if anything, to address the multiplicity of deontological and consequential ethics coexisting at WorldCom. CEO Ebbers in fact called an internal effort to create a corporate code of conduct a “colossal waste of time”. At WorldCom, the culture was also very much “top-down” – Managers gave instructions and employees were expected not to question their superiors. Any objections or challenges to senior managers are met with denigrating remarks or personal threats. The company also had a culture of compensating acquiescent employees generously, often beyond the company’s approved salary and bonus guideline. This further fueled a company culture of “do as told and be rewarded”. This was the institutional setting, which Betty Vinson was exposed to when she started working with WorldCom in 1996. In 2000, when Betty was asked to release the $828 millions of line accruals into the income statement, she herself recognized this as “not good accounting” practice. But after Yates (Director, General Accounting) replied that he himself was not happy with the transfer and that Myers (Controller) assured him that this was not going to happen again, she gave in to them. From a......

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The Enron and Worldcom Scandals

...The Enron and WorldCom Scandals Case: Enron 1. Which segment of its operations got Enron into difficulties? The segment of its operations that got Enron into trouble was Kopper and Dodson creating a series of limited partnerships and limited companies through which to operate their interests, but Kopper had no outside investor at risk. 3. Did Enron’s directors understand how profits were being made in this segment? Why or why not? I do not think Enron’s directors understood how profits were being made in this segment. They were unable to rely on the information they were receiving or on Enron’s company policies being followed. Management was out of control. 5. Ken Lay was the chair of the board and the CEO for much of the time. How did this probably contribute to the lack of proper governance? The CEO should have knowledge of what is going on with his business at all times. They should get a report of the company’s revenue daily, and Ken Lay should have noticed that the revenue was overstated. 6. What aspects of the Enron governance system failed to work properly, and why? The aspect of the Enron governance system that failed to work properly was the accounting firm. Their primary function was to assure that the company was accurately and completely disclosing its financial results and condition. 9. Identify conflicts of interests in: • SPE activities- Enron used several SPE’s to hide debt and overstate equity and earnings • Arthur Andersen’s activities-......

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Synthesis Accounting Scandals

...Baluyot, Krishia Mae E. BSAV-2A Scandals that Rocked the Accounting World ❖ Enron Scandal The Enron Corporation led to bankruptcy Last October 2001. It is an American energy company based in Huston, Texas, and the termination of Arthur Andersen, which was one of the biggest audit and accountancy partnerships in the world. Enron is also attributed as the biggest audit failure. Enron was founded in 1985 by Kenneth Lay after merging Houston Natural Gas and Inter North several years later. When Jeffrey Skilling was hired, he developed a staff of executive that, with the use of accounting loopholes special purpose entries, and poor financing reporting, were able to hide billions in debt from failed deals and projects. Shareholders lost nearly $11 billion when Enron's stock price, which hit a high of US$90 per share in mid-2000, plummeted to less than $1 by the end of November 2001. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) began an investigation, and rival Houston competitor Dynegy offered to purchase the company at a fire sale price. The deal fell through, and on December 2, 2001, Enron filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Enron's $63.4 billion in assets made it the largest corporate bankruptcy in U.S. history until WorldCom's bankruptcy the following year. Many executives at Enron were indicted for a variety of charges and were later sentenced to prison. Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, was found guilty...

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Accounting Scandals

...Research Study INTRODUCTION Accounting scandals in business firms arise with the disclosure of financial misdeeds by trusted executives of corporations. Examples of Accounting Fraud: • Merging short and long term debt into one amount to improve the perceived liquidity of the company • Failing to disclose risky investments or “creative” accounting practices • Over-recording sales revenue • Under-recording expenses (i.e. depreciation expense) Accounting fraud leads to many serious problem for everyone not only for the perpetrator. Accounting fraud causes problem in the market place and the economy. As a result in most cases, investors' loose large sum of money due to the misrepresentation of financial position and financial result of the company. Also, because of this, there is lack of trust in the market, accounting system, and in the company in which accounting fraud was committed from the investors. Employees in that company are at rest of losing their job because of the scandal. WHY DOES ACCOUNTING FRAUD OCCUR? Fraud are triggered by three elements; rationalization, perceived pressure, and perceived opportunities. Whether the fraud benefits the perpetrator directly, or indirectly, such as benefiting the perpetrator’s company, the three elements are always present. Rationalization- perpetrators find some sort of rationalization that makes their unethical behavior seem acceptable. Perceived Pressure- perpetrators are faced with some kind of......

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The Case of Scandals of Enron and Worldcom, Lesson to Rwanda

...facts of the scandals at Enron ................................................................................. 1 3. Summary of facts of the scandals at WorldCom ........................................................................ 2 4. Enron and WorldCom executives prosecution ........................................................................... 5 5. Effects of the scandal, legislative perspective ............................................................................ 5 6. Comment and lesson to Rwandan business sector ...................................................................... 7 6.1. Corporate governance .......................................................................................................... 7 6.2. Committed crimes during the scandals .............................................................................. 10 6.2.1. Insider trading .............................................................................................................. 10 6.2.2. Wire fraud .................................................................................................................... 11 7. Conclusion ................................................................................................................................ 12 8. Authorities................................................................................................................................. 13 1 Lessons from Enron and WorldCom cases 1.......

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Accounting Fraud at Worldcom

...Case Assignment #1 – Accounting Fraud at WorldCom 1. Discuss the fraud at WorldCom in terms of the objective of financial reporting. How was the objective subverted by the actions taken by the managers of WorldCom? A. To begin, the primary objective of financial reporting for most companies is to provide useful information to capital providers. Essentially, the objective is “to assist in the efficient functioning of economies and the efficient allocation of resources in capital markets” (pg. 21, textbook). However, in the fraud case at WorldCom, WorldCom’s senior managers did not endorse this objective nor made any attempt to provide useful financial information to present and potential equity investors, lenders, and other creditors. Why? The senior managers subverted these objectives by focusing on revenue growth, seen as the key to increasing the company’s market value. Now although this focus is encouraged, WorldCom, as one manager says, “encouraged managers to spend whatever was necessary to bring revenue to the door, even if it meant that the long term costs of a project outweighed short term gains” (Accounting Fraud at WorldCom article, pg. 4). Therefore, CFO Sullivan and others subverted the objectives of providing useful information to external users by using accounting entries to achieve targeted performance. 2. The fraud at WorldCom revolved around two accounting irregularities: accrual releases and expense capitalization. a. Explain how......

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Accounting Scandal of Worldcom

...MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING WORLDCOM How did it cook the books? Nguyen Bao Khanh Student ID: FB60162 Class: FB0662 May 19th, 2012 APENDIX 1. WorldCom’s accounting scandal 2. How did WORLDCOM cook its books? 3. Conclusion WORLDCOM headquarter in Virginia, USA. WORLDCOM’S ACCOUNTING SCANDAL WorldCom, established in 1983, whose CEO was Bernard Ebbers, was the second largest long distance phone company in the US after AT&T. It could be seen as a pride of America until it got into one of the biggest accounting scandals in the American history which finally led to its bankruptcy in 2002. On July 21st, 2012, WorldCom filed for bankruptcy, which was worth 103.9 billion USD and became the largest filing at its time. Its CEO, Bernard Ebbers, was found totally guilty and sentenced to 25-year imprisonment regarding the crime of stock and accounting fraud. Before WorldCom, the world had seen several cases of famous, or infamous, financial and accounting frauds, including Enron, Tyco, Aldelphia, Global Crossing and HealthSouth. Such cases, we can say, were quite complicated to trace, but WorldCom used a simple recipe to cook the book, which will be illustrated below. HOW DID WORLDCOM COOK ITS BOOKS? To understand the fraud occurring at WorldCom, we should basically understand the difference between operating and capital expenditures first, and then we would move on to the details on how the books were adjusted to cause problems. To begin with, what are operating and......

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Worldcom Fraud Essay

Abstract
On March 15, 2005 former CEO of WorldCom, Bernard Ebbers sat in a federal courtroom waiting for the verdict. As the former CEO of WorldCom, Ebbers was accused of being personally responsible for the financial destruction of the communications giant. An internal investigation had uncovered $11 billion dollars in fraudulent accounting practices. Later a second report in 2003 found that during Ebber’s 2001 tenure as CEO, the company had over-reported earnings and understated expenses by an astonishing $74.5 billion dollars (Martin, 2005, para 3). This report included the mismanagement of funds, unethical lending practices among its top executives, and false bookkeeping which led to loss of tens of thousands of its employees.

On March 15, 2005 Bernard Ebbers sat in a federal courtroom waiting for the verdict. As the former CEO of WorldCom, Ebbers was accused of being personally responsible for the financial destruction of the communications giant. In July 2002, an internal investigation had uncovered $11 billion dollars in fraudulent accounting practices. A second report in 2003 found that during Ebber’s 2001 tenure as CEO, the company had over-reported earnings an understated expenses by an astonishing $74.5 billion dollars (Martin, 2005, para 3). This report included the mismanagement of funds, unethical lending practices among its top executives, and false bookkeeping which led to loss of tens of thousands of its employees. They also uncovered a series of clever manipulations intended to bury almost 4 billion in misallocated expenses and phony accounting entries (Moberg &, Romar, 2002, section 5, para 1). Hoping too sway the jury with an “ignorance is bliss” defense, he braced for the verdict. In his second day on the witness stand, former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers professed ignorance of the accounting fraud taking root beneath his eyes and fended off a barrage of questions from a federal prosecutor suggesting that the fraud got underway only because the company's plummeting stock price put Ebbers' personal fortune at risk. (Farrell, 2005, para 1). Unfortunately for Ebbers, the grand jury wasn’t ignorant to the facts of the case and found Ebbers guilty on nine counts of fraud. He was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Many critics felt that the sentence was too harsh and others not harsh enough. The sentencing of Ebbers did not change the situation of the shareholders and employees who lost more than $100 billion in stock value, 17,000 jobs and their entire retirement savings. Ebbers was allowed to keep one of his homes, $50,000 in cash and a retirement account (Ernst & Young, 2005, para 6). Many supporters of Ebbers still questioned how much of a role he actually played in masterminding the WorldCom scandal. The
question still remains if greed was his motive, why didn’t Mr. Ebbers sell more stock? One explanation could be utilitarian based reasoning. Utilitarianism, the consequentiality theory most...

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