Protecting the Public Interest:

Selected Governance, Regulatory Oversight, Auditing, Accounting, and Financial Reporting Issues

GAO-02-483T: Published: Mar 5, 2002. Publicly Released: Mar 5, 2002.

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The rapid failure and bankruptcy of Enron has prompted severe criticism of the nation's financial reporting and auditing systems, which are fundamental to maintaining investor confidence in U.S. capital markets. This report focuses on four areas in which the Enron failure revealed serious problems: corporate governance, the independent audit of financial statements, oversight of the accounting profession, and accounting and financial reporting issues. Effectively addressing these issues should be a shared responsibility between top management, boards of directors, various board committees, stock exchanges, the accounting profession, standard setters, regulatory/oversight agencies, analysts, investors, and Congress.

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