Skip to main content

Asian Financial Statement Analysis: Detecting Financial Irregularities



Asian Financial Statement Analysis: Detecting Financial Irregularities

ChinHwee Tan, Thomas R. Robinson, Howard Schilit (Foreword by)

ISBN: 978-1-118-48652-8 April 2014 208 Pages


Gain a deeper understanding of Asian financial reporting and how to detect irregularities

The Asian region, and particularly China, is becoming a hotbed of investment activity. There have been quite a few accounting scandals in Asia in the recent years – now rivaling those we have seen in the Americas and Europe. Assessing potential or active overseas investments requires reliance on financial statements, the full parameters of which may vary from region to region. To effectively analyze statements, it is necessary to first understand the framework underlying these financial statements and then lay out a protocol for detecting irregularities. It's impossible to create and implement a practical plan without a deeper knowledge of the various factors at play.

Asian Statement Analysis: Detecting Financial Irregularities provides a framework for analysis that makes irregularities stand out. Authors Chin Hwee Tan and Thomas R. Robinson discuss international financial reporting standards, including characteristics particular to the Asian region. Tan and Robinson's combined background in academia and Asian finance give them a multi-modal perspective and position them as top authorities on the topic. In the book, they address issues such as:

  • Detection of irregularities independent of particular accounting rules
  • The most common irregularities in the Asian market
  • Similarities and differences between U.S. and Asian accounting techniques
  • An overarching framework for irregularity detection

The book uses real-world examples to illustrate the concepts presented, with the focus on Asian companies. As the first ever in-depth study on manipulation and irregularities in the Asian market, Asian Financial Statement Analysis: Detecting Financial Irregularities is uniquely positioned to be a valuable resource in the move toward the next phase of global reporting standards.

Foreword xi

Genesis of This Book xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Introduction 1

Why Focus on Scandals in Asia? 2

How This Book is Organized 4

As You Begin 5

Notes 5

Chapter 1 A Framework for Evaluating Financial Irregularities 7

Articulation of Financial Statements 8

Accruals and Deferrals 12

Typical Accounting Games 13

Parting Comments 22

Note 22

References 22

Chapter 2 Detecting Overstated Earnings 23

Aggressive Revenue Recognition 24

Understatement or Deferral of Expenses 29

Classification of Non-Operating Income 31

Classification of Non-Operating Expenses 31

Parting Comments 32

Case Studies 33

Longtop Financial 33

Sino-Forest 37

Oriental Century 42

References 46

Chapter 3 Detecting Overstated Financial Position 47

Excluding Both Assets and Liabilities 49

Other Off-Balance-Sheet Financing/Liabilities 53

Overstating Assets 54

Parting Comments 59

Case Studies 60

RINO International Corp. 60

Olympus 66

Oceanus 69

Notes 72

References 72

Chapter 4 Detecting Earnings Management 73

Accruals and Deferrals Revisited 74

Accounts Receivable (Accrued Revenue) and the Allowance for Doubtful Accounts 75

Deferred (Unearned) Revenue 80

Accrued and Deferred (Prepaid) Expenses 80

Deferred Taxes 81

Contingencies and Reserves 86

Parting Comments 87

Case Studies 88

Harbin Electric 89

West China Cement 98

China Biotics 101

References 105

Chapter 5 Detecting Overstated Operating Cash Flows 107

Understanding the Cash Flow Statement 108

Using Cash Flow to Assess the Quality of Earnings 113

Cash Flow Games 116

Parting Comments 118

Case Studies 118

Renhe Commercial Holdings 118

Duoyuan Global Water 123

Winsway Coking Coal Holdings 131

References 136

Chapter 6 Evaluating Corporate Governance and Related-Party Issues 137

Board Governance and Independent Directors 138

Shareowner Rights 139

Interlocking Ownership or Directorships 140

Related-Party Transactions 140

Excessive Compensation 142

Personal Use or Expropriation of Assets 143

Lack of Transparency 143

Auditor Issues 143

Parting Comments 144

Case Studies 146

China Valves Tech 146

PUDA Coal 149

Sino-Environment Technology Group Limited 153

Note 157

References 157

Chapter 7 Summary and Guidance 159

Putting It All Together 160

A Recipe for Detecting Cooked Books 163

Parting Comments 168

Case Studies 168

Celltrion, Inc. 169

Real Gold Mining 170

Fibrechem Technologies Ltd. 175

References 177

About the Authors 179

Index 181

"Written by Tan Chin Hwee, the founding partner in Asia for Apollo Global Management, a leading US$162 billion global alternative investor, among the top three largest in the world; and Tom Robinson, professor of accounting and head of education at the CFA Institute, the book offers a practical framework for performing forensic financial analysis and detecting accounting irregularities." - Daniel Yu, The Asset

"But what if investors were armed with practical tips on what to look for in assessing companies--espeically avoiding the dodgy ones (and maybe even profiting by taking a short sale position)? Here is where Asian Financial Statement Analysis: Detecting Financial Irregularities may become the seminal book that equips investors with what to look out for when assessing investment opportunities in Asia."  - Daniel Yu, The Asset

"Tan and Robinson write that corporate governance has been the Achilles' heel for minority equity shareholders in Asia. Despite being publicly traded, they say that many companies are sitll effectively controlled by the founder or his family; there is nothing inherently wrong with this, but the real winners in many companies are not the minority shareholders. Investors in this region, therefore, will need to be extra vigilant and this book goes a long way in helping strengthen their position." - Daniel Yu, The Asset