Based on the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and SEC reporting requirements for publicly traded companies:
1) Assess the roles of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of a public company for establishing an ethical environment that generates quality accounting and reliable financial reporting for use by shareholders and investors. Provide support for your assessment.
2) Recommend a strategy for a CEO to implement, leading to an ethical environment that leads to high-quality accounting, reporting, and forecasting. Provide support for your recommendation.
3) Suggest how corporate management can provide assurances to investors that the performance forecast and expected earnings will be realized, minimizing the volatility of the stock price. Provide support for your suggestions.
4) Evaluate the consequences to a publicly traded company when there is a lack of quality within financial accounting and reporting, indicating how these consequences may be minimized. Provide support for your answer.
5) Assess the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act related to accounting quality, indicating whether or not you believe the requirements are sufficient to protect stockholders and potential investors. Provide support for your position.
Towards the end of March 2004, the world bore witness to by now familiar scenes of blood-letting from Iraq. Pictures captured on this occasion by an Associate Press journalist (Mascolo, 2006) showed Iraqis celebrating the killing of two foreigners. Emaciated and hardly recognisable, their bodies hung over the bridge they had just a moment ago attempted to cross. Some 30 miles west of Baghdad, the notoriously restless town of Fallujah formed the backdrop to the ambush where, it emerged from later reports, two of those killed as well as the surviving men were all American nationals who had been tasked with escorting the transportation of foodstuff. When they fell into the trap, all four had been sitting in their car. Following gunfire they incurred the wrath of insurgents keen to seek revenge on whom they saw as unwelcome occupiers by torching their vehicle (Scahill, 2006). Two of them managed to escape in time but the other two, it seems, could not retreat, either because they were already heavily injured or were already dead. Even to this day the precise circumstances of what really had happened remain unclear, and it will probably remain so. What is clear, however, is that none of them – either the dead or the survivors – were bona fide soldiers operating in uniform. Belonging neither to the United States Army nor to any other army of the “coalition of the willing” stationed in Iraq, all four were, to all legal intents and purposes, “civilians”, who had, at least as it appeared initially, the gross misfortune of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. But on closer inspection one could discern that all four of them were employees of Blackwater, a private security company headquartered in Moyock, North Carolina (www.blackwaterusa.com). Founded only eleven years earlier to the incident, Blackwater symbolizes the growth of a new and booming sector of the military economy, which entrusts private companies with tasks that had previously been preserved for the state. Referring to the process of deregulation, which had made this possible, the founder of Blackwater, Erik Prince, explained by way of comparison that, “we are trying to do for national security what Fed Ex did for al service. Fed Ex”, he went on to say in an interview with the Weekly Standard, “did many of the same services al service did, better, cheaper, smarter, and faster by innovating [which] the private sector can do much more effectively” (quoted in Hemingway, 2006). What his company was doing, he claimed, was nothing dissimilar and, in fact, in the national interest too, since his employees would save the American ratepayers a substantial amount of >
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(USA, AUS, UK & CA PhD. Writers)