Examine failure article

Essay Topic: Arthur Andersen,

Paper type: Finance,

Words: 1398 | Published: 01.21.20 | Views: 130 | Download now


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Group 1


• WorldCom, initial named LDDS (Long Distance Discount Services), grew largely by aggressively acquiring other telecommunications companies in 1990s.

• As news got around, it was the United California’s second largest long distance phone service,telephone company, telephone service (after AT&T).


However , the season 2002 comes…

• In 03, the SEC began to investigate WorldCom as it reported large revenue while AT&T reported loss.

• In-may, Arthur Anderson was changed by KPMG because the taxation of WorldCom.


• In 06, a small team of inside auditors at WorldCom unearthed.

8 billion in scams and made well-known of the provider’s audit committee and board of directors. Then, Sullivan, the CFO was terminated; Arthur Andersen withdrew its audit opinion for 2001; and SEC introduced an investigation in these matters.

• In Come july 1st, WorldCom submitted for bankruptcy protection, in the most significant such filing in United States history at that time.


The fraud was accomplished mostly in two ways:

• Underreporting ‘line costs’ (interconnection expenses with other telecommunication companies) by capitalizing these costs on the balance sheet instead of properly expensing them.

• Inflating earnings with phony accounting entries from “corporate unallocated revenue accounts”.


Causes of the scam:

1 ) Internal control defects

2 . Economical motivation

3. Exterior Audit inability

1 ) Internal control defects

• Weakened internal audit:

a. It failed to cover economic

statement auditing;

b. This were not impartial as

internal auditors was responsible

pertaining to CFO;

c. The advices are not valued also

although reported disadvantages.

1 . Internal control defects

• Supervision override: Corporate headquarters asked subsidiaries to adjust accounts directly, providing no documentation or authorization signatures.

• Poor incentives: Economical incentive program built managers keen to make profit as managers’ bonus was based upon financial performance.

2 . Monetary motivation

• Ebbers, the CEO, who possessed a large range of WorldCom stocks, came under increasing pressure coming from banks to cover margin calls on his WorldCom stock that was used to fund his other businesses.

• WorldCom needed to keep high price of share to attract acquisition.

installment payments on your Economic inspiration

Yet , the actual scenario was as follows:

• Telecommunications industry entered a downturn.

• And WorldCom’s aggressive growth strategy suffered a serious setback in order to was compelled to abandon its proposed merger with Sprint.

• Thus, WorldCom’s inventory was declining.

3. External audit inability


• General standard:

The examination should certainly be performed as well as the report prepared by a person or perhaps persons having enough technical training and proficiency in auditing, with due care and with an aim state of mind.

3. Exterior audit failing

• Examination common:  (ii) The auditor should obtain an understanding of the entity and its environment, including internal control, sufficient to identify and measure the risks of material misstatement of the financial transactions whether due to fraud or error, and sufficient to design and execute further audit procedures.

a few. External review failure

(iii) The audit ought to obtain sufficient ideal audit evidence to draw reasonable conclusions on which to base the audit opinion.  But, the audit created by Arthur Anderson gone against the guidelines.

(a) Independence

Arthur Andersen support charged in WorldCom:$168, 1000, 000

(a) Freedom

The specific examples of freedom violation:

• Arthur Andersen presented WorldCom asking,  auditing and also other services completely. And as the above picture shows, income from auditing is only one-fourth of the total profits Arthur Anderson got coming from WorldCom.

• WorldCom is the biggest client Arthur Andersen had in Mississippi, and they have been in partnership for about ten years.

(a) Independence

In all, the threats of independence arrived the following three patterns:

• Self-interest threat

• Advocacy threat

• Understanding threat

(b) Due care

• Arthur Anderson totally relied on management assertion even when the motivation of fraud( details stated above) had been found in WorldCom.

(c) Skills

Arthur Anderson lacked competence of auditing in WorldCom for its not enough assurance in WorldCom’s internal control and the relative accounting procedures, ultimately causing unsuccessful audit.

For instance, in 2002, WorldCom capitalized line costs while in previous years it expensed these costs.

(d) Data

Dependence on management assertion and lack of awareness of WorldCom’s internal control and accounting treatment made Arthur Anderson ignored a few signals and unable to indicate some obvious fraud.  For example, Arthur Anderson did not try to obtain direct data to confirm the adjusting entry that $3. 8 billion dollars line costs were capitalized as PPE, which usually didn’t can be found in budget.


• Improve audit ethic education as well as increase supervising system.

• A brand new and increased standard,  Sarbanes-Oxley Act, has been enacted. Guarantee the act will be executed well.

Sarbanes–Oxley Act

• often known as the ‘Public Company Accounting Change and Investor Protection Act’ (in the Senate) and ‘Corporate and Auditing Liability and Responsibility Act’ (in the House) and commonly called Sarbanes–Oxley, Sarbox or SOX, is known as a United States government law enacted on Come july 1st 30, 2002,  which set new or enhanced specifications for all U. S. general public company planks, management and public accounting businesses.

Sarbanes–Oxley Act

• Sarbanes–Oxley contains 11 titles that describe specific mandates and requirements

intended for financial revealing.

• Among them, title 1 to 3 focus on the independence of external audit.

1 . Open public Company Accounting

Oversight Board (PCAOB)

• Title I actually provides 3rd party oversight of public accounting companies providing audit services (“auditors”). In addition, it creates a central oversight board tasked with registering auditors, defining the actual processes and procedures for conformity audits, inspecting and policing execute and top quality control, and enforcing compliance while using specific mandates of SOX.

2 . Auditor Independence

• Name II establishes standards for external auditor freedom, to limit conflicts of interest. It also address new auditor approval requirements, review partner rotation,  and auditor reporting requirements. It restricts auditing companies coming from providing non-audit solutions (e. g., consulting) to get the same clients.

3. Corporate Responsibility

• Title III defines the interaction of external auditors and company audit committees, and specifies the responsibility of corporate officers for the accuracy and validity of corporate financial reports. It enumerates specific limits around the behaviors of corporate officers and describes specific forfeitures of benefits and civil penalties intended for non-compliance.

Sarbanes–Oxley Act

• Title 4, 8, being unfaithful, 11 Focus on the scam avoidance to get


4. Enhanced Economic Disclosures

• Title IV details enhanced reporting requirements for economic transactions,  including off-balance-sheet orders, proforma figures and stock transactions of corporate representatives. It requires internal controls for guaranteeing the accuracy and reliability of financial reports and disclosures, and mandates the two audits and reports on individuals controls. Additionally, it requires timely revealing of material within financial condition and specific improved reviews by simply the SEC or its agents of company reports.

8. Company and Felony Fraud


• Subject VIII is usually referred to as the “Corporate and Legal Fraud Accountability Act of 2002”.

It identifies specific lawbreaker penalties for manipulation, destruction or perhaps alteration of financial records or other interference with investigations, whilst providing certain protections for whistle-blowers.

on the lookout for. White Back of the shirt Crime Charges


• Title IX is also known as the “White Collar Offense

Fees Enhancement Take action of 2002. ” This section increases the lawbreaker penalties associated with white-collar offences and conspiracies. This recommends stronger sentencing guidelines and specifically adds failure to certify corporate monetary reports as a criminal offense.

11. Corporate Fraud Liability

• Title XI recommends a name with this title as “Corporate Fraud Responsibility Act of 2002”.  It identifies business fraud and records tampering since criminal crimes and brings together those offenses to specific penalties. It also revises sentencing guidelines and strengthens their penalties. This enables the SEC the resort to temporarily freeze ventures or payments that have been deemed “large” or perhaps “unusual”.



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