Four Ways Companies Combat Accounting Scandals

Shareholder Value Magazine surveyed top executives of publicly held companies to help assess the prevalence of accounting scandals and the corporate response. Respondents to the survey were primarily investor relations professionals of micro cap, small cap and mid cap companies.

Key findings:

  • Approximately half (52.1%) view the current scandals as representative of a few inevitable "bad apples," while a significant minority (38.9%) believe the public distrust is justified and view the scandals as typical of more widespread practices.

  • A significant minority (16.7%) say they have been placed in a situation where they were compelled to explain questionable behavior on the part of their company.

  • Almost half (42.6%) are doing something differently to improve investor confidence in their company since the scandals emerged. The four most popular remedies: more frequent investor communication (47.3%), updating accounting policies (21.2%), implementing new financial safeguards (19.9%) and modifying investor expectations (16.4%).

Analyzing the survey results, Bill Mahoney, editor of Shareholder Value Magazine, commented, "When public company insiders tell us these problems are widespread, that's a clear wake-up call. A fundamental shift in the way corporations deal with investors is required."

To discuss the survey results, as well as the steps leading companies are taking to restore investor confidence in their companies, Shareholder Value Magazine will host an interactive telephone conference on Aug. 13, 2002. For more information visit or call 1-800-531-0007.

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