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Indecent Disclosure: Gilding the Corporate Lily

2007 Frank Clarke Cover

Frank Clarke, Discipline of Accounting; Graeme Dean, Discipline of Accounting

Indecent Disclosure: Gilding the Corporate Lily , Cambridge University Press, Melbourne.

Indecent Disclosure captures the anguish the commercial public experiences when the misleading financial disclosures of some public corporations lead to an unexpected collapse. Here, the authors pursue four main themes as underpinning the crisis in companies? financial disclosures. First, companies? compliance with the accounting standards does not produce financial statements that disclose their wealth and financial progress; second, misleading financial statements are more the result of compliance with the accounting rules with the best of intentions, than from the deviation from them with the intent to mislead; third, the raft of knee-jerk corporate governance mechanisms imposed following the recent corporate shenanigans are more directed at appearances than rectifying malpractice; and fourth, there is increasing evidence that the current group structures in which corporate activities are arranged are incapable of effective regulation. Here those themes are explained, explored, and illustrated, within the framework of an agenda for true, effective reform.