Study of financial statement restatements in the US 2004-2006

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09 Oct 2007

Huron Consulting Group has published a study titled The Restatement Process: How Long Will it Take, What to Do, and What to Avoid.

The study examined, by accounting issue, company size, and industry, approximately 1,900 restatements announced between August 2004 and December 2006 by US SEC registrants. The study analysed the timing between the initial announcement (filing of Form 8-K) of a material error in historical financial statements and the filing of restated financial statements with the SEC. The restated financials were filed within four months of the 8-K in around 80% of the cases. The five most common accounting issues for restatements were:
  • Equity and debt
  • Capitalisation versus expense of costs
  • Reserves, accruals, and contingencies
  • Revenue recognition
  • Income taxes
The study found that approximately 19% of the time, the restated financial statements identified more accounting issues than were originally identified in the Form 8-K filing. The report includes a 13-point best practices guide to managing the restatement process and identifies pitfalls for companies to avoid during the process. Click for Huron Press Release (PDF 28k). Click for Huron Consulting Group Website.


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