1.5 Paper Outline

Printer-friendly versionPDF versionHaving defined the problem facing the financial reporting system and outlined the drivers of the proposed solution we now turn to an in-depth examination of the issues raised in this introduction. This examination involves details of the specific problem areas in accounting today and then a look at the changes impacting the business environment, and especially the technological infrastructure of the firm that both undermines existing reporting systems and provides the foundation for the creation of a new and more effective system. [1] The New York Times in October 8, 2004 article by Eric Dash entitled “ Parmalat Files Another Suit Naming Bank of America” relates a law suit of Parmalat against Bank of America stating that “It charges that between December 1997 and December 2001 Bank of America helped certain Parmalat senior managers structure and execute "a series of complex, mostly off-balance-sheet transactions that were deliberately designed to conceal Parmalat's insolvency." … Meanwhile, the bank and its executives collected tens of millions of dollars in interest, improper payments and transaction structuring fees, ….. seven examples of what it claims were fraudulent and highly lucrative transactions that Bank of America managers arranged for Parmalat subsidiaries in Venezuela, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. "In some cases, what appeared to be conventional loans from Bank of America were in reality intracompany transfers or loans from other Parmalat entities," the complaint said. "In other cases, what appeared to be conventional debt offerings to third-party investors, supposedly underwritten by Bank of America, were in reality loans to other undisclosed Parmalat entities," the complaint said. The complaint said investors were intentionally misled into believing that Bank of America was standing behind Parmalat's creditworthiness when the bank's activities really suggested that it was doing all it could to reduce its risk. In some cases, the complaint said, it established secret loan guarantees and side-letter agreements so it had no risk at all