Financial Failures and Scandals: From Enron to Carillion, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Financial Failures and Scandals

From Enron to Carillion, 1st Edition

By Krish Bhaskar, John Flower


128 pages

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Hardback: 9780367220730
pub: 2019-04-25
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This concise volume evaluates the cause and significance of recent corporate failures and financial scandals, and how they reflect on the fitness for purpose of the external auditors, financial reports, financial watchdogs, boards, directors and senior management. Failures like the disastrous collapse of Carillion, examined at length, have ultimately led to a crisis of confidence not only in the audit process but in the entire process of financial reporting.

Revealing the shortcomings in audit quality, independence, choice and the growing expectation gap, Financial Failures and Scandals questions if the profession, its regulators or government watchdogs, are adequately prepared for the challenges of increasing regulation, public outcry and political scrutiny in the face of inevitable future financial failures. The fundamental structures of financial reporting, annual reports, boards of directors and senior management are often found to have failed. Tighter regulation and new requirements for reporting will inevitably result.

Drawing on extensive research and interviews with insiders, users and experts, this unique book provides a compelling account of the profoundly disruptive impact of financial failures on corporate and financial accountability. Topical and readable, this book will be of great interest to students, researchers and professionals in accounting and auditing, as well as to policy makers and regulators.


"Enron and Carillion are household names, not because of what they were, but because of the way they failed. The extent to which the auditors can be blamed for these and many other corporate failures is an important public policy issue. This interesting and well researched book highlights the role of accounting and auditors in some of the highest profile failures of recent years. It is a useful contribution to the current debate on what needs to change in accounting and auditing practice.", Geoff Wilkinson held a range of senior economic and financial positions with the British Steel Corporation before moving into investment banking. He was Finance Director and subsequently Managing Director of Laird plc, a FTSE 250 company, and Chair of the Audit Committee for the Eden Project.

"This book is a first in that it examines a number of recent financial scandals and corporate failures in the UK and further afield. Placing earlier pivotal cases in perspective, it then concentrates on current cases, culminating in a forensic financial dissection of the Carillion collapse, using a variety of analytical techniques including financial modelling. By critically analysing the Carillion collapse, and other recent cases, it sets out a detailed analysis of what went wrong, and who was to blame. An accompanying online resource also updates recent cases such as Patisserie Valerie.", Vaiz Karamatullah,Former CFO of Arab conglomerates in various Middle Eastern countries; presently Trustee of The Graham Layton Trust, a UK charity supporting free eye care overseas.

Table of Contents

1. About this Book. 2. Regulation, Regulators and Reporting. 3. Manipulating Reports and Creative Accounting. 4. Landmark Scandals :The Impact of Earlier Cases. 5. Tesco, HBOS and Autonomy. 6. Carillion: The Collapse. 7. Carillion: The Blame Game. 8. Recent Cases: Steinhoff and Conviviality. 9. Conclusions: The Aftermath. GLOSSARY.

About the Authors

Krish Bhaskar was founding Professor of Accounting at the University of East Anglia, UK and previously held positions at the London School of Economics and the University of Bristol. He is the author of over 50 books and has also worked extensively in the IT, consulting, investment banking, automotive and forecasting sectors.

John Flower, now retired, was formerly Professor of Accounting at the University of Bristol, UK and Director of the Centre for Research in European Accounting, Brussels.

Rod Sellers OBE, FCA, has spent almost 50 years in senior financial and corporate roles in industry.

About the Series

Disruptions in Financial Reporting and Auditing

Following the global financial crisis and the growing number of major corporate collapses and financial scandals, confidence in the corporate sector, and more importantly, the professionals who audit them, is at an all-time low. Based on the authors' extensive experience and unique research (including interviews with 100s of professionals, regulators, and whistleblowers) this topical series provides a uniquely accessible insight into the criticisms and challenges currently facing the financial reporting and auditing industry, and examines possible solutions.

At a time of unprecedented scrutiny and technological change, the four complementary volumes (Disrupting the Audit Market; Financial Failures and Scandals; Disruption in Financial Reporting and Disruption in Auditing) critically examine the key debates, drawing on expert opinions from top industry professionals. Together the four volumes combine into an unparalleled contemporary overview and evaluates the future challenges facing this vital part of our economy and society.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Accounting / Financial
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate Finance
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Corporate Governance