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The SEC’s summer reading list is not for the faint of heart

Robert Herz | August 16, 2016

It’s that time of year again. The mercury is soaring, and people are on summer vacation. While your vacation reading may be the latest bestseller novel, I’m catching up on reviewing recent Accounting and Enforcement Releases (AAERs) issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As in prior years, there are plenty of interesting cases to talk about. Over the twelve months ended June 30, 2016, the SEC issued almost 120 AAERs. While many of these deal with improper professional conduct by auditors of public companies, there were also a significant number of enforcement actions against companies and their executives and even a rare case against an audit committee chair. Common aspects of accounting and reporting involved in these enforcement actions included improper and fraudulent revenue recognition, issues relating to valuation and impairment of assets, earnings management, related-party transactions, missing or inadequate disclosures, and various cases involving...

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