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What's wrong with this picture? When bean counting giant Grant Thornton asked chief financial officers and senior comptrollers whether they thought auditors were responsible for detecting any and all fraud, a whopping 82 per cent answered in the affirmative. At the same time, 62 per cent of the respondents said they thought it was possible for them to intentionally misstate their financial statement to their auditor.

The Grant Thornton survey makes sobering reading.

Especially the revelation that nearly half of these financial experts had never heard of XBRL, or eXtensible Business Reporting Language which is being hailed as the future of financial reporting. SEC chairman Christopher Cox is the chief cheer leader for XBRL.


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  1. I think accountants and auditors need to move past the checklist mentality and start thinking about how the wool can pull over their eyes. In this economy we’ll begin to see more effort to misstate financial statements because of the higher level of pressure. This will be true especially with privately owned companies who are struggling to comply with loan covenants.

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