USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Brian Christian

First Advisor

Gerald Lander, Ph.d, CPA, CFE, CCEA Professor, Program of Accountancy Gregory, Sharer and Stuart Term Professor in Forensic Accounting

Second Advisor

David Walker, CPA, CFE Director, Program of Accountancy Director, Program ofDistinction: Social Responsibility and Corporate Reporting

Third Advisor

James Strachan, Ph.D, CMA, CCA, CMP Associate Dean for Academic and Student Relations, College of Business Instructor, Program of Accountancy


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


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Date Issued



Financial statement fraud, the "falsification of an organization's financial statements to make it appear more or less profitable:' (Association 1 0), carries the most financial impact on businesses of all type of fraud. It is often perpetrated by upper level management and accounting departments. Since the occurrence of the frauds at Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, and Adelphia, major changes are occurring in the business community and the accounting profession, ranging from new standards and legislation to an increased emphasis on corporate ethics. Numerous new accounting standards and congressional acts have been issued in an effort to prevent such frauds from occurring again through the reduction of loopholes and complexity in current accounting standards. New pieces of legislation, are moving big business and the accounting profession towards greater transparency in financial reporting as well as increased accountability tor the issuers of financial statements and their auditors. The renewed effort to reduce the complexity of reporting standards has taken hold as well as an increased focus on corporate social responsibility and ethical leadership in the workplace.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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