Case 3-8 Accountant takes on Halliburton and Wins!
1. Describe the inadequacies in the corporate governance system at Halliburton.
2. Consider the role of KPMG in the case with respect to the accounting and auditing issues. How did the firms’ actions relate to the ethical and professional expectations for CPAs by the accounting profession?
3. The Halliburton case took place before the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act was adopted by Congress. Assume Dodd-Frank had been in effect and Menendez decided to inform the SEC under Dodd-Frank rather than SOX because it had been more than 180 days since the accounting violation had occurred. Given the facts of the case would Menendez have qualified for whistleblower protection? Explain.
4. Some critics claim that while Menendez’s actions may have been courageous, he harmed others along the way. His family was in limbo for many years and had to deal with the agony of being labeled a whistleblower and disloyal to Halliburton. The company’s overall revenue did not change; a small amount was merely shifted to an earlier period. Halliburton didn’t steal any money, they didn’t cheat the IRS, they didn’t cheat their customers or their employees. In fact, they lessened their cash flows by paying out taxes earlier than they should have under the rules. How do you respond to these criticisms?
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