Peeling away financial reporting issues one layer at a time

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Big Bath Accounting is Alive and Well at Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and GM

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about Merrill’s big bath charge.  Two other recent news items confirm that not much as changed since Arthur Levitt declared war on earnings management games almost 10 [Read More...]

“Big Bath” Accounting at Merrill Lynch: Give Me that Old Time Conservatism

In a story whose main subject was increasing auditor vigilance, the Associated Press wrote as follows on November 2, 2007:

"Merrill Lynch last week reported a bigger-than-expected $8.4 billion in writedowns…. On Oct. [Read More...]

Accounting Research Slam Dunks SEC Proposal to Allow IFRS without Reconciliation to GAAP

Would you like your staff to learn more aboutSEC reporting?  Click here for a sample in-house training agenda!

Teri Lombardi Yohn, an associate professor at Indiana University, has provided Senate testimony on the [Read More...]

FAS 144: Tailor-Made to Confound Financial Analysts

It should come as no great surprise to savvy analysts that far too many accounting standards were written to benefit someone else other than investors and analysts. FAS 144 on impairment of long-lived asset [Read More...]

IAS 1: The Myth of ‘Fair Presentation’

I speak U.S. GAAP most of the time, so when I prepare to deliver courses on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS or IAS are basically interchangeable acronyms), I begin by re-reading some of the [Read More...]

FAS 158: Funded Status is Padded with Company Shares

FAS 158 makes it look like the 'funded status' of defined benefit  post-employment benefit plans are now transparent.  Actually, they are not.  To see why, consider the following three transactions:

Company A purchased 500 shares [Read More...]

APB 18: SEC Disclosures Paper Over Decades-Old Bad Accounting

Every three months, the SEC Regulations Committee  of the AICPA takes SEC staff members to lunch, and discuss emerging [Read More...]

Researchers Study Signs of Financial Manipulation

Mechanical measures of earnings quality, though far from perfect, can direct the attention of audit committee members and others to matters that may require their attention.  The authors of an academic paper (funded by [Read More...]