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Unformatted text preview: CHAPTER 1 The Role of the Public Accountant in the American Economy Review Questions 1-1 The crisis of credibility largely arose from the number of companies that restated their previously issued financial statements as a result of accounting irregularities and fraud. Especially responsible were the very visible Enron and WorldCom fraud cases. Both companies filed for bankruptcy and constituted the largest companies in American history to do so. The extent of the accounting irregularities and fraud being investigated and disclosed brought into question the effectiveness of financial statement audits. In addition, the criminal conviction of Arthur Andersen, LLP, one of the then Big 5 accounting firms, on charges of destroying documents related to the Enron case brought into question the ethical standards of the profession. 1-2 Assurance services are professional services that enhance the quality of information, or its context, for decision-making. The two types are: (a) those that increase the reliability of information and (b) those that involve putting information in a form or context that facilitates decision-making. 1-3 A financial statement audit is, by far, the most common type of attest engagement. The overall assertion, made by management, most frequently is that the financial statements follow generally accepted accounting principles. 1-4 A large corporation with securities listed on a stock exchange is required by the rules of the stock exchange and by the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission to provide an audit report with the annual financial statements furnished to its stockholders. Apart from legal requirements, however, a large listed corporation recognizes that it must maintain investor confidence in the reliability of its financial statements if it is to continue to be able to secure capital from the public. The report by a firm of certified public accountants adds credibility to the financial statements prepared by the corporation. When a small family-owned enterprise elects to have an audit, the purpose usually is to use the auditors' report to support an application for a bank loan. 1-5 A report by an independent public accountant concerning the fairness of a company's financial statements is commonly required in the following situations: (1) Application for a bank loan. (2) Establishing credit for purchase of merchandise, equipment, or other assets. (3) Reporting operating results, financial position, and cash flows to absentee owners (stockholders or partners). (4) Issuance of securities by a corporation. (5) Annual financial statements by a corporation with securities listed on a stock exchange or traded over the counter....
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- Spring '08