Accounting and auditing ethics

Controlling For Fraud in Organizations

ACFE 2020 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse The 2020 Report to the Nations on Occupational Fraud and Abuse developed by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners examined 2,504 cases of fraud in 125 countries causing $3.6 billion losses. The results are an eye-opener with respect to... Read more →


Accounting, Tax, and Regulatory Issues in the Cannabis Business

Keys to Operating a Successful Cannabis Business State legislation that permits the sale and distribution of marijuana is on the rise. Thirty-three states allow it for recreational and/or medical purposes including the District of Columbia. Cannabis sales were estimated to be $15 billion in 2018 and projected to be about... Read more →


The Key to Ethical AI is Transparency

Trust and Verify Artificial Intelligence systems can obscure the data in a way that creates biased information depending on the human values of those who enter the data from its source. For example, an algorithm developed from mortgage loan data might include a variable for the expectation of homeowners’ repayment... Read more →


KPMG Sanctioned by the SEC for “Stealing the Exam”

Actions Constitute an Act Discreditable to the Profession On May 18, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced settled charges against three former KPMG LLP audit partners for improperly sharing answers to internal training exams. The exams were administered to determine whether its audit professionals understood certain accounting and... Read more →


Accounting for Coronavirus Risk

Global Reporting Guidelines I’ve been communicating with Michael Kraten, a friend of mind and fellow blogger, about accounting issues surrounding the coronavirus. We agree that companies hard hit by the shutdown should disclose a contingent liability that estimates possible losses as a result of the shutdown. This may be easier... Read more →


Audit Firms Should Not Be Allowed to Perform Nonaudit Services for Audit Clients

The Lost Art of an Independent Audit The time has come to revisit the issue whether all nonaudit services should be prohibited for audit clients. The accounting profession continues to struggle with independence issues when both services are provided. The threats and safeguards approach in the AICPA Code does not... Read more →


Dating in the Workplace

Blog by Pepperdine University student Victoria Dong This week I will post five blogs from students at Pepperdine University. Professor Carolyn Galantine assigned students to choose a blog and post comments. I appreciate students' inclusion of my blog in their responses. This is blog # 2. Last week at Happy... Read more →


Why Do Audit Reports Have Such a High Deficiency Rate?

Indicators of Audit Quality Forty percent of the audits inspected by audit firm regulators had at least one finding indicating a serious problem, according to a new survey. A recent report from the International Forum of Independent Audit Regulators, a group of national audit regulators including the Public Company Accounting... Read more →


Holding Top Officials and the Auditors Responsible for the Data Breach at Equifax

What Should Government Regulators Do? In my last blog I examined the bewildering action by the IRS to award a $7.25 million-dollar contract to Equifax to verify taxpayer identities and help prevent fraud under a no-bid contract. This is nothing less than rewarding bad behavior. In this blog I look... Read more →