Indecent Disclosure captures the anguish the commercial public experiences when the misleading financial disclosures of some public corporations lead to an unexpected collapse. Here, the authors pursue four main themes as underpinning the crisis in companies' financial disclosures. First, companies' compliance with the accounting standards does not produce financial statements that disclose their wealth and financial progress; second, misleading financial statements are more the result of compliance with the accounting rules with the best of intentions, than from the deviation from them with the intent to mislead; third, the raft of knee-jerk corporate governance mechanisms imposed following the recent corporate shenanigans are more directed at appearances than rectifying malpractice; and fourth, there is increasing evidence that the current group structures in which corporate activities are arranged are incapable of effective regulation. Here those themes are explained, explored, and illustrated, within the framework of an agenda for true, effective reform.
Frank Clarke, PhD, BEc (Syd.), is Emeritus Professor of Accounting at the University of Newcastle, and Honorary Professor of Accounting at the University of Sydney. Graeme Dean, MEC, FCPA, TIA, is Professor of Accounting, and formerly Head of Discipline of Accounting and Business Law, School of Business at the University of Sydney.
Prologue: Gilding the corporate lily; 1. Indecent disclosure: omitted factor in unexpected failure?; 2. Independence: a misplaced quest for honesty; 3. Governance overload: a contestable strategy; 4. A most peculiar practice: accounting under scrutiny; 5. A most peculiar practice: auditing under the microscope; 6. The sound of one hand clapping; 7. Commerce without conscience: group enterprise or separate legal entity?; 8. Groupthink: fact or fiction?; 9. An alternate group therapy to consolidation accounting; 10. Patching: past, present, prospect; Notes; Bibliography; Index.