This revised edition of Clarke, Dean and Oliver's provocative book tells why accounting has failed to deliver the truth about a company's state of affairs or to give warning of its drift towards failure. Well-known corporate collapses from the 1960s to the present day show that little has changed over these decades. The authors balance broad interpretations and recommendations for regulatory reform with intricate case details, insightful analysis of contemporary practices and dissection of the pervading commercial rhetoric. Corporate Collapse includes examinations of the recent HIH, One.Tel, Ansett and Enron debacles and shows that the cult of the individual in media coverage has masked serious endemic problems in the system of reporting financial information. The book is essential reading for professional accountants and auditors, company directors and managers, regulators, corporate lawyers, and investors, and accounting academics and their students.
• Addresses those issues currently most discussed in the corporate world. • Presents alternative solutions to the problem of 'unexpected' corporate failures. • Reduces complex financial affairs to a form readily understandable to the layperson whilst retaining technical integrity for the professional
Part I. Accounting in Crisis - a Farce to be Reckoned With: 1. Chaos in the counting-house; 2. Creative accounting - mind the GAAP; Part II. The 1960s: 3. The corporate 1960s: dubious credit and tangled webs; 4. Reid Murray: the archetypal failure; postscript - Stanley Korman; 5. H. G. Palmer: 'Gilt' by association; Part III. The 1970s: 6. Going for broke in the 1970s; 7. Minsec: decline of a share trader; 8. Cambridge credit: other people's money; 9. Uncoordinated financial strategies at Associated Securities Ltd. Part IV. The 1980s: 10. The 1980s: decade of the deal?; 11. Adsteam on the rocks; 12. Bond Corporation Holdings Ltd (Group): entrepreneurial rise and fall; 13. Westmex Ltd: the security facade of cross guarantees; Part V. The New Millennium - Life in the Farce Lane: 14. 2000s and beyond: crisis in accounting and audit; 15. HIH - unfettered hubris. Part VI. Regulatory Reforms: 16. Groupthink: Byzantine structures; 17. Groupthink - group therapy: consolidation accounting; 18. Fatal attrition - accounting's diminishing serviceability; 19. Ethos abandoned - vision lost: accounting at the professional crossroads?
Reviews of the first edition 'A provocative and timely publication, this book will stimulate public debate about national accounting issues and deserves thorough study by managers, regulators, accountants, investors and politicians.' J. G. Service, Chairman of the Advance Bank
'This book makes a valuable contribution to the history of accounting practice and of corporate regulation in Australia. Many of the lessons from corporate failures have not previously been identified, let alone learned.' Professor Robert Walker, University of New South Wales
'A very dismal story - one of the most important studies in corporate accounting behaviour undertaken in many years - required reading for all academic accountants, senior students, professional accountants and regulators.' Emeritus Professor Alan Barton, Australian National University