Accounting

Studies show that CEOs face a significant risk to their future earnings and employment prospects when taking a job at a company with existing, or potential financial problems. But new research by accounting Professor Steve Hillegeist and co-authors shows that such executives can expect to be compensated, often handsomely, for putting their human capital at risk.

The Buffett Rule is expected to remain an issue through the November election. Sparked by billionaire Warren Buffett’s contention that he paid a lower percentage of his income in taxes than his secretary, the Buffett Rule would raise marginal tax rates on the very wealthy. Some claim that the top 1 percent already shoulder 41 percent of the nation’s tax burden -- plenty high enough, they say. Is that number for real? “They’re cherry picking,” says accounting Professor Philip Reckers.

Your company's best corporate customer needs help. Earnings are down. You could help that company's revenues look rosier with a sham transaction. And, why wouldn't you? After all, it's not your company's financial statements you're sweetening.

Marianne Jennings, a professor of legal and ethical studies in business at W. P. Carey School of Business, recently noted that major business scandals used to be spaced about 10 years apart. Unfortunately, the cycle now appears to be compressing. In a recent talk before W. P. Carey MBA Executive students, Bradley Preber, the partner-in-charge of Grant Thornton's Forensic Accounting and Investigative Services practice, said that any company that continues having pervasive and systematic behavior problems with its employees must look at its culture to see if it could be partly what drives that unethical behavior.

Like ripples from a pebble pitched into a pond, the federal law passed to combat white-collar crime has resulted in booming demand for the specialists who can comb through financial records and follow a trail of evidence. Once simply a component part of audit courses, forensic accounting is being offered as a standalone class at many colleges, including the W. P. Carey School of Business.