Peeling away financial reporting issues one layer at a time

» Financial Analysis

On Golden’s Con — and Bain Capital’s Travels to Lilliput

There is so much I would like to write about, yet so little time…

I could write about the latest half measure on the accounting for repurchase agreements (ASU 2014-11)— and that Tom Linsmeier’s [Read More...]

The EBITDA Epidemic Takes Its Cue from Standard Setters

On October 4th, Jon Weil published “An Accounting Lesson for Twitter.”  Here’s how it starts:

Whether he prevails at his insider-trading trial or winds up paying a fine to the Securities and Exchange Commission, [Read More...]

A Promised SEC Disclosure Roundtable that Won’t Happen

(Note to readers — I have deleted the reference to Worldcom in a previous version of this post. A dialogue with one reader caused me to re-consider my statement that account roll forwards could [Read More...]

Why We Love Spreadsheets Too Much

I have been a habitual spreadsheet user for 30 years, and a Keynesian for, like, forever.  That particular pairing of predilections is probably why I experienced a brief and thrilling shiver of Schadenfreude as [Read More...]

Financial Accounting’s Relevance Lost

My best insights (but who am I to judge?) come from reading something for which accounting is the furthest thing from the author’s mind:

“My own view is that people tend to underestimate the [Read More...]

How Deferred Tax Accounting Blunts Government Incentives to Invest in Renewable Energy

One of the items in my inventory of pet peeves when I first started blogging (six years ago!) was interperiod tax allocation, familiarly known as “deferred tax accounting.”  I’ve always objected to it on [Read More...]

Autonomy: Investors are Entitled to Know what HP’s Management Knows — by New Year’s Eve

Hewlett Packard Co. claims they were 'misled' (to put it mildly) by accounting 'misstatements' (to put it mildly) into overpaying, on the order of $8 billion, to acquire Autonomy. But, if anybody outside [Read More...]

Securitization Accounting and Grand Theft Auto

Many books and articles have been written to describe the mishaps that led to the Great Recession of 2008, but few have done so while putting the role of accounting standards and auditing in [Read More...]

Stock Compensation, Tax Law, Financial Reporting and Facebook’s IPO

Last August, I wrote a post in which I expressed my dismay that Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) are trying to make tax law based on the premise that FASB rules [Read More...]

“Vulture” Capitalism, Accounting … and Mitt Romney?

Rabid conservative ideologues believe that everything transacted in a free-market, i.e., unfettered by government involvement or regulation, is by definition a good thing. I presume this is why Newt Gingrich acted like he was between [Read More...]