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Creative Accounting, Fraud and International Accounting Scandals

Creative Accounting, Fraud and International Accounting Scandals

Michael J. Jones

ISBN: 978-1-119-97862-6

Nov 2011

566 pages



Business scandals are always with us from the South Sea Bubble to Enron and Parmalat.  As accounting forms a central element of any business success or failure, the role of accounting is crucial in understanding business scandals. This book aims to explore the role of accounting, particularly creative accounting and fraud, in business scandals. The book is divided into three parts. In Part A the background and context of creative accounting and fraud is explored. Part  B looks at a series of international accounting scandals and Part  C draws some themes and implications from the country studies.

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List of Contributors.




1 Introduction – Setting the Scene (Michael Jones).

1.1 Introduction.

1.2 Exploring the Terms.

1.3 Structure of the Book.

1.4 Conclusion.

2 The Creative Accounting and Fraud Environment (Michael Jones).

2.1 Introduction.

2.2 The Main Actors.

2.3 Effective Corporate Governance.

2.4 Economic Environment.

2.5 Conclusion.

3 Motivations to Indulge in Creative Accounting and Fraud (Michael Jones).

3.1 Introduction.

3.2 Conclusion.

4 Methods of Creative Accounting and Fraud (Michael Jones).

4.1 Introduction.

4.2 Basic Principles.

4.3 Nature of Accounting.

4.4 Methods of Creative Accounting.

4.5 Simple Numerical Example.

4.6 Fraud.

4.7 Conclusion.

5 Evidence for Creative Accounting and Fraud (Michael Jones).

5.1 Introduction.

5.2 The Descriptive Studies.

5.3 The Statistical Studies.

5.4 Conclusion.

6 Impression Management (Michael Jones).

6.1 Introduction.

6.2 Conclusion.

7 Taking the Long View: Accounting Scandals over Time (Michael Jones).

7.1 Introduction.

7.2 Conclusion.


8 Accounting Scandals in Australia since the Late 1980s (Garry D. Carnegie and Brendan T. O'Connell).

8.1 Introduction.

8.2 Overview of Accounting Scandals during and since the 1890s.

8.3 Case Studies of Accounting Scandals since the Late 1980s.

8.4 HIH Insurance.

8.5 Corporate Governance Reforms Following the Accounting Scandals of the Early 2000s.

8.6 Conclusion.

9 Corporate Accounting Scandals in China (Catherine Huirong Chen, Yuanyuan Hu and Jason Zezhong Xiao).

9.1 Introduction.

9.2 Summary of Corporate Scandals.

9.3 A Case in Depth – Zhengzhou Baiwen.

9.4 Conclusion.

10 Accounting Scandals in Germany (Hansrudi Lenz).

10.1 Introduction.

10.2 Accounting Scandals Between 1985 and 2006.

10.3 Most Important Cases: Flowtex and Comroad.

10.4 Accounting Scandals and Regulatory Responses.

10.5 Examinations of the German Financial Reporting Enforcement Panel 2005–2006.

10.6 Conclusion.

11 Creative Accounting and Fraud in Greece (George Kontos, Maria Krambia-Kapardis and Nikolaos Milonas).

11.1 Introduction.

11.2 Two Accounting Scandals.

11.3 The Bank of Crete Scandal.

11.4 The Aftermath.

11.5 Conclusions.

12 Corporate Creative Accounting in India: Extent and Consequences (Bhabatosh Banerjee).

12.1 Introduction.

12.2 Some Examples of Creative Accounting in India.

12.3 Some Important Corporate Cases in India.

12.4 The Satyam Computer Services Ltd Scandal (2009).

12.5 Aftermath.

12.6 Conclusion.

12.7 Acknowledgements.

13 Creative Accounting and Accounting Scandals in Italy (Andrea Melis).

13.1 Introduction.

13.2 Creative Accounting Practices in Italy: A Case Study Analysis.

13.3 The Most Important Accounting Fraud in Italy: The Parmalat Case.

13.4 The Aftermath of the Parmalat Scandal and its Impact on Business and Society.

13.5 Conclusion.

14 Creative Accounting and Accounting Scandals in Japan (Kazuyuki Suda).

14.1 Introduction.

14.2 Accounting Regulations and Standards in Japan.

14.3 Short History of Accounting Scandals Before the 1980s.

14.4 Three Types of Accounting Scandal Post-1980s.

14.5 Consequences of the Accounting Scandals.

14.6 Conclusion.

15 Financial Accounting Scandals in the Netherlands (Henk Langendijk).

15.1 Introduction.

15.2 Some Minor Accounting Scandals.

15.3 Royal Ahold.

15.4 Conclusion.

16 Creative Accounting and Financial Scandals in Spain (Nieves Carrera).

16.1 Introduction.

16.2 Accounting Scandals in Spain Since the 1980s.

16.3 Investments in Stamps: The Latest Series of Financial Scandals in the Country. Afinsa and Fórum Filatélico.

16.4 The Aftermath of the Scandals.

16.5 Conclusion.

17 Accounting Scandals in Sweden – A Long Tradition (Gunnar Rimmel and Kristina Jonall).

17.1 Introduction.

17.2 Fermenta and Prosolvia: Swedish Stock Market Darlings.

17.3 Two Scandals in Multinationals that Dominated the Swedish Media.

17.4 Conclusions.

18 Creative Accounting – The UK Experience (David Gwilliam and Richard H.G. Jackson).

18.1 Introduction.

18.2 Historical Background.

18.3 Some Recent Accounting Scandals.

18.4 Polly Peck.

18.5 The Immediate Aftermath.

18.6 Subsequent Developments.

18.7 Conclusions.

18.8 Acknowledgements.

19 Creative Accounting and Accounting Scandals in the USA (Charles W. Mulford and Eugene E. Comiskey).

19.1 Introduction.

19.2 Scandals since the 1990s.

19.3 Enron and Worldcom.

19.4 Aftermath of the Scandals.

20 Bank Failures and Accounting During the Financial Crisis of 2008–2009 (Simon D. Norton).

20.1 Introduction.

20.2 Kaupthing Bank.

20.3 Origins of the 'Credit Crunch'.

20.4 Financial Instruments Associated with the Credit Crunch.

20.5 Creative Accounting in the Banking Sector.

20.6 Lehman's, Madoff and Bear Stearns; Failures and Consequences.

20.7 Conclusion.


21 Identifying Some Themes (Michael Jones).

21.1 Introduction.

21.2 Some Themes.

21.3 The Major Methods Used.

21.4 Methods of Fraud.

21.5 Incentives for Creative Accounting and Fraud.

21.6 Overstrong Personalities.

21.7 Failure of Internal Controls.

21.8 Failure of External Auditors.

21.9 Conclusion.

22 The Impact of Accounting Scandals and Creative Accounting (Michael Jones).

22.1 Introduction.

22.2 Short-term Immediate Effects.

22.3 Long-term Effects.

22.4 Cumulative Effects.

22.5 Conclusion.

23 Conclusion – Looking Backwards and Forwards (Michael Jones).

23.1 Overview.

23.2 Thematic Analysis.

23.3 Lessons for the Future.

23.4 Prognosis.

23.5 Conclusion.

Appendix 1 Chronological List of Major Instances of Accounting Issues Across 12 Countries and Beyond.

Appendix 2 Alphabetical List of Most Important Accounting Scandals Across 12 Countries and Beyond since about 1980.


"AS A JOURNALIST I must confess I don't usually read the accounting books that drop onto my desk on a weekly basis but Michael Jones' hefty tome - Creative Accounting, Fraud and International Accounting Scandals - is different. Indeed, it is a rare thing in this sector, a real page turner." (Accountancy Age, November 2010)

  • Explores the role of accounting, particularly creative accounting and fraud, in business scandals
  • Examines the motives and methods used by managers in creative accounting
  • Includes a series of studies of accounting scandals from 14 different countries, which have been contributed by accounting experts from these countries.