The CPA Journal
A rash of high-profile bankruptcies has led to a search for answers. Many hold auditors responsible for not detecting the potential for bankruptcy during the most recent audit. The Weiss Report, a study of several dozen bankrupt companies submitted to the U.S. Senate during its deliberations on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, found a "broad and massive failure" on the part of auditors to raise "yellow flags" that indicate potential bankruptcy. The authors examined Weiss' methodology and found that, applied to a broader group of companies, Weiss' criteria would have incorrectly predicted bankruptcy for nearly half of the non-bankrupt companies studied. This failure to accurately predict undermines the credibility of the subsequently enacted legislation.