Case Studies

1.Look up the term corrupt in the dictionary. What is its definition? Was corrupt appropriately applied to the actions of Arthur Andersen?
2.The issues that overturned the Andersen verdict were based on faulty jury instructions, not on whether Andersen was in fact guilty or innocent. Based on the information in this case and other information you know, do you believe Andersen violated the law?
3.Do you believe that the Supreme Courts opinion overturning the lower courts decision was appropriate?
4.Should the SEC and the Department of Justice have tried Andersen as a firm or should they have targeted specific individuals who had engaged in acts the two bodies believed to be unlawful?
5.Although Andersens conviction was overturned, do you believe that its employees acted in an ethical manner?
6.Comment on the actions of David Duncan and Nancy Temple. Which of these parties do you believe was more responsible for the Andersen saga?
7.The class action lawsuit against Andersen also named the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse Group as codefendants with Andersen. Why would the plaintiffs name so many entities in their lawsuit? Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse asked a U.S. appeals court to rule that the complaint should not have been certified as a class action suit. Why would these entities make such a claim?
Case 2.
1.Reviewing GMs financial information in GM Exhibit 1 and its stock price in GM Exhibit 2, when do you first see signs of GMs impending financial distress?
2.In referencing professional standards, what factors should auditors consider in evaluating potential going-concern uncertainties?
3.Considering your response to questions 1 and 2, do you believe that the going-concern uncertainty was warranted? Do you believe that Deloitte & Touche should have issued a going-concern opinion prior to 2008?
4.What economic factors existing in the United States during 2008 might have accelerated Deloitte & Touches decision to issue an audit opinion modified to disclose going-concern uncertainties?
5.Do you believe that the events immediately following GMs bankruptcy alleviated the concerns that led to the issuance of the going-concern uncertainty? What issues would auditors need to consider in evaluating the ability of General Motors Co. (the new GM) to continue as a going concern?
6.Many companies believe that a going-concern opinion is a self-fulfilling prophecy (that is, when a company receives a going-concern opinion, customers will not purchase products with warranties, suppliers will not provide short-term credit, and investors and creditors will not invest or loan). Would GMs going-concern opinion influence your decisions regarding either purchasing a car from GM or investing in GMs stock? Is a going-concern a self-fulfilling prophecy?
Case 3.
1.Do professional standards allow a companys auditors also to provide tax services and retain their independence?
2.How have provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act limited a public companys choice of auditors?
3.What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of permitting auditors to provide nonaudit services (such as tax services) to clients?
4.What is the impact of a smaller number of major international accounting firms on public companies?

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