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In response to continuing concerns regarding financial statement fraud, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) is sponsoring a comprehensive study of fraudulent financial reporting, slated to be released in the Spring of 1999. The study builds on the landmark 1987 report of the Treadway Commission by examining all the financial statement frauds investigated by the SEC from 1987 through 1997. The study addresses characteristics of the frauds committed, the companies involved, the individual perpetrators, and the consequences of the frauds. The goal is to provide a current profile of financial statement fraud. This study will provide a basis for recommendations on preventing and detecting financial statement fraud.

The study should be of interest to a diverse audience, including corporate directors, CEOs, financial executives, auditors, and regulators.

The study is being conducted for COSO by three experienced researchers, Mark Beasley of North Carolina State University, Joe Carcello of the University of Tennessee, and Dana Hermanson of the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University.

COSO is dedicated to the prevention of fraudulent financial reporting and is an alliance of five professional organizations: the American Accounting Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Financial Executives Institute, the Institute of Internal Auditors, and the Institute of Management Accountants. Collectively, these five organizations represent over 500,000 members.

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