ENRON COMPANY FRAUD
Based on the findings from milestone one, it is clear that Enron Company experienced an accounting fraud resulting in a spectacular bankruptcy. This was brought about by the accounting fraud made by the accounting firm. An accountant may face accounting dilemma of reporting any accounting violation to the financial accounting body of a company. It is an ethical duty for an accountant to report any such violations but also the dilemma arises on whether to report any uncertain mistake in the accounts. In the case of Enron Company the mistake was done by the accounting firm and the involved CEO was Jeff Skilling. According to legal and ethical issues of accounting fraud, government review of company financial records caused by an accounting scandal could cause the company’s rapid decline and can also lead to the layoff of thousands of employees and we can see from the Enron Company that it dropped its shares from $90 to $0.50 which brought loss to employees and a big financial loss to the investors who had saved their money in the Enron Company.
From the legal ethical issues, executives and other corporate officers can also face criminal prosecution, leading to heavy fines and prison time as seen from the case where the scandal resulted in penalty of CEO Jeff Skilling. Jeff Skilling was sent to prison for 24 years for engaging in accounting fraud for the financial collapse of the company. Arthur was not charged on accounting fraud but found guilty for fudging Enron’s account and to loss of shareholders. This results to loss of shares from the investors of the business.
Accounting fraud of Enron Company may have been brought by an officer in charge asking an accountant to omit or leave out a certain accounting figure from a balance sheet that may paint a business bad image to the public investors (Krishna, 2003). Omission may not seem like a significant breach of accounting ethics because it does not involve direct manipulating of numbers or records. This is why an accountant must remain ethically vigilant to avoid falling into a mess. Enron’s might have modeled unethical practices to misrepresent earnings and modify the balance sheet to indicate favorable performance. Combination of these issues resulted in the bankruptcy of the company and most of them were driven by the indirect knowledge or direct fraud actions.
Analysis of Enron Company also indicates that pressure from management cans also results to an accounting fraud. The urge of a company to succeed at higher levels may bring stress and pressure on accountants creating a balance sheet and financial statements. The ethical issues for accountants becomes maintaining true reporting of company assets, profits and liabilities without taking into account the pressure placed on them by the CEO or senior executives officers (McLean, 1998). Unethical accountants could easily alter company financial records and figures and paint wrong image of the business success. This may lead to short-term prosperity and any altered financial records will be the beginning of the downfall of a company like Enron.
In order to prevent these issues never to happen again in a company, certain laws and regulations must be put in place to prevent accounting fraud (Jonathan, 2014). First a company should use a system of checks and balances to ensure no one person has control over all parts of a financial transaction. This can be made possible by requiring purchases, payroll and disbursements to be authorized by a specific designated person. Separating handling functions from record keeping functions to help in coming up with a reliable system of handling the records of the accounts of the company.
Protection of checks against fraudulent users is also important in order to prevent writing checks payable to cash. Signing of checks only when all required information is entered on them and attached with the supporting documents also limits any incidents of frauds in accounts not forgetting to make sure that checks are to be signed by two signatures above a specified limit.
Considering of annual audits is a legal requirement that will discover all fraud within an organization. It gives an opportunity for someone to be selected to overview all transactions of the business to make sure all funds are being used in the right place. It also motivates all book keeping related issues in order for things to be honest. A business can never be sure what question an auditor is going to ask or what documents an auditor may request to look at it and review it.
Healy Paul M: Krishna G Palebu (Spring 2003), The Fall of Enron Company (PDF). Journal of Economic perspective.
McLean Bethany (1998): Peter Elkind: The smartest Guys in The Room: Accounting fraud scandals. Pp. 179-180. Accessed on 27th September 2014.
Jonathan Lister (2014). Ethical Issues Facing the Accounting Profession, Hearst newspapers journal. Accessed on 27th September 2014.
The Accounting fraud of Enron Company
September 13, 2014
The Accounting Fraud of Enron Company
The corporate scandals have been taking place for centuries whereby it involves corruption, fraud, bribery together with other forms of greedy actions which impacts on economy as a whole and attribute to Company’s failure or impeach of the president or vice president of the Companies involved (Bauer, 2009).
The Company which I choose is Enron Company which deals with commodities, energy as well as being a service corporate. This Company is identified as the Company which turned in centuries since it oozed with the wealth, power and smarts. Certainly, the Enron Corporate involved in a spectacular bankruptcy as a result of painstakingly-planned account fraud which was made by its accounting firm. The accounting firm executive beyond the accounting fraud is known as Arthur Andersen, Jeff skilling who is a CEO and former Ken Lay also a CEO (O’Gara, 2004). The sources indicate that, Enron Company’s shares dropped from $90 to $0.50 thus illustrating a disaster within the financial world. Due to the accounting fraud, thousands of the employees and the investors identified their savings loss within the Company since it had filed an earnings restatement on October 2001. However, the Enron Corporate scandal lead to Chicago based Company to voluntarily relinquish its own licenses to the practice through certified public accountants, the CPA which is preferably in U.S because of the Enron accounting scandal which shows a loss of 85000 jobs as well as corporate rebranding. The accounting fraud of Enron was identified through a turn in by the international whistle-blower Sherron Watkins through high stock prices which had fueled suspiciously.
The fraud players beyond the fraud of Enron accounting were CEO Jeff skilling and the former CEO Ken Lay. The scandal incident resulted in penalty of CEO Jeff Skilling who was sent to prison for 24 years for his roles in engaging in energy giant’s financial collapse. The Company had filed for bankruptcy and Arthur was beyond the accounting fraud therefore he was found guilty of fudging Enron’s accounts and also his attributes to loss of shareholders worth $74 billion of money (Walden, 2007). The other player was Ken Lay was confirmed dead before serving time of the Enron accounting fraud execution. The fun fact beyond the Enron Company shows that, the fortune magazine named the Enron Company the most America’s innovative Corporate for six years preferably in a row prior to its scandal.
Bauer, A. (2009). The Enron scandal and the Sarbanes-Oxley-Act. München: GRIN Verlag.
O’Gara, J. D. (2004). Corporate fraud: Case studies in detection and prevention. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.
Walden, M. L., & Thoms, P. (2007). Battleground: Business. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.
BUS206: Course Presentation Guidelines
The final project for this course is a presentation analyzing an organization that has been in the news for what is perceived to be questionably legal and possibly unethical conduct. The final product represents an authentic demonstration competency, as students will present their analysis of the legal and ethical issues involved as well as evaluate and make recommendations that should be put into place to stop such activities. The project is divided into three milestones, which will be submitted in Modules Three, Five, and the final product in Module Seven.
Milestone 1: (Graded: see Written Short Answer Rubric) Choose a company brought into the news for some questionable activity. Try browsing Google using key words such as “corporate scandal” or “corporate fraud” for possible companies. Please write a one or two page introduction about the company you choose and a summary of the incident in question.
Milestone 2: (Graded: see Written Short Answer Rubric) Please provide a 2-4 page written analysis of the legal and ethical issues that are involved. Based on the findings, you will evaluate what these legal and ethical implications may have and what types of laws or regulations you would recommend be put into place in order for this not to happen again in the future. (For example, some activities may be legal but not ethical; if this is the case, what regulations and laws would you put into place to stop this from happening again in the future?)
Milestone 3: Final Presentation: Presentation (Graded: see Course Project Presentations Rubric)
In Week Seven, you will submit your final presentation to the discussion board. It should be a complete, polished artifact that has been built upon from milestones 1 and 2.
Short Answer Rubric
|Critical Elements||Exemplary||Proficient||Needs Improvement||Not Evident||Value|
|Main elementsFacts of the case and legal and ethical issues||The paper includes all of the facts and the issues
|The paper includes most of the facts and the issues
|The paper includes some of the facts and the issues
|The paper lacks presentation of the facts and the issues(0-13)||20|
|AnalysisStudent interpretation of the case and its bearing in the future||Provides an in-depth analysis and interpretation of the main elements(23-25)||Analyzes and interprets the main elements
|Attempts to analyze and interpret the main elements(18-19)||Fails to analyze and interpret the main elements(0-17)||25|
|RecommendationsRationale for suggesting laws and regulations||Rational is addressed correctly. All significant aspects about the case have been included(18-20)||Rational is addressed correctly but certain aspects about the case have been overlooked(16-17)||Rational is addressed, but it is confused with other aspects of the case
|Rational is not addressed or is completely incorrect
|Integration and Application||All of the course concepts are correctly applied
|Most of the course concepts are correctly applied(20-22)||Some of the course concepts are correctly applied(18-19)||Does not correctly apply any course concepts
|Writing(Mechanics/Citations)||No errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations(9-10)||Minor errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations(8)||Some errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations(7)||Major errors related to organization, grammar and style, and citations(0-6)||10|
Principles of an Effective Presentation:
- You may utilize a product such as Microsoft’s PowerPoint, Google Presentation, or Prezi to create your presentations.
- There are various template designs that you can find on the web for your presentation. Consider your presentation from the perspective of your audience prior to selecting a specific style.
- Each slide should include your key point(s). Do not place large blocks of text on the visual. Your presentation is not a means of presenting a short paper. In an actual presentation you would not “read” from your slides but rather use them as prompts.
- Any notes or narration you would use in delivering this presentation to a group should be listed in the “notes” section of the slide. (See example below).
- References should be listed at the bottom of the slide in slightly smaller text.
- Use clip art, AutoShapes, pictures, charts, tables, and diagrams to enhance but not overwhelm your content.
Below are some links that offer helpful tips and examples for developing your presentations:
Making PowerPoint Slides
Beyond Bullet Points: The Better Way to Use PowerPoint
Really Bad PowerPoint and How to Avoid it
Course Project Presentations Rubric
|Critical Elements||Exemplary||Proficient||Needs Improvement||Not Evident||Value|
|Organization||Slides are organized in a logical way that complements the central theme; transitions are well-paced to create a natural and engaging flow(27-30)||Slides are organized in a logical way and transitions are paced so that the material is easily accessible
|Slides are organized mostly in a logical way and transitions are paced so that the material can be understood with focus and effort
|Slides are organized in a way that is illogical OR transitions are paced so that the material cannot be understood
|Content||Demonstrates comprehensive explorations of legal and ethical issues before recommending remedies so unfavorable outcomes are not repeated(36-40)||Demonstrates moderate explorations of legal and ethical issues before recommending remedies so unfavorable outcomes are not repeated(32-35)||Demonstrates minimal explorations of legal and ethical issues before recommending remedies so unfavorable outcomes are not repeated(28-31)||Does not demonstrate exploration of legal and ethical issues
|Visual Appeal||There is a consistent visual theme that helps enhance understanding of the ideas; includes multiple types of media(18-20)||Original images are created using proper size and resolution that enhance the content; includes more than one type of media(16-17)||Visually depicts topic and assists audience; images are proper size and resolution
|Graphics are unrelated to content and cross over each other. Distracting, busy, and detract from presentation(0-13)||20|
|Control of Syntax & Mechanics||Adheres to the conventions of grammar, punctuation, spelling, mechanics, and usage with no errors(9-10)||Adheres to the conventions of grammar, punctuations, mechanics, and usage with few errors
|Adheres to the conventions of grammar, punctuations, mechanics, and usage with some errors(7)||Adheres to the conventions of grammar, punctuations, mechanics, and usage with many errors(0-6)||10|