The Greatest Ponzi Scheme Essay

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Madoff Securities case occurred because of fraudulent investment schemes due to lack of regulation as well as insufficient oversight of specific financial intermediaries along with dismissal of opportunistic behavior. To understand why such an incident happened in the first place, it is important to identify the kind of scheme led by Madoff. It is called a Ponzi scheme. In a Ponzi scheme, an unsustainably big pool of investors must be maintained to keep it afloat. It begins with a simple promise to a few investors of doubling an amount they decided to invest. Rather than investing that money and doubling it, the person involved in the scheme takes money from a successive round of investors and the scheme continues (Knapp, 2011). The formula is ROI-R-I.

The reason why the Ponzi scheme went unnoticed for so long was partly because of Madoff's reputation and a huge regulatory hole. This major discrepancy some say (regulators) was brought on by limited resources, lack of coordination and communication, and a fragmented oversight among agencies. Regulators could not uncover fraud and instead played catch up, especially with Madoff because he understood how the market worked. For example, he never collected a management fee, effectively preventing the raising of red flags with regulators. He also maintained everything without creation of customer accounts allowing Finra to treat it as counterparty. Probes were made as early as 1992 and again in 1999, 2006, and 2008 (Knapp, 2011). Yet nothing was ever substantiated to the point Madoff would be arrested. That is why the government aimed to centralize regulation in order to avoid cases like Madoff and his Ponzi scheme.

In regards to the ten million dollar investment, independent auditors must have assessed the materiality of investment, the amount and nature of assets, transactions, and liabilities executed, and the exact risks that may reveal a realistic likelihood of quantifiable misstatement to the firm's combined financial statements.
This can be done by establishing accuracy of accounts that can confirm and display the existence of recorded assets. To accomplish this, the auditor must employ a variety of audit tools that includes a review of which audit procedures were used, materiality decisions and risk assessments, and adopted analytical measures as stated initially.

These processes help the auditor recognize control risks that may contribute to the observed misstatements in accounting information and balance sheets. To confirm accuracy, the auditor must carefully review key transactions that will help ensure investors are not swindled by investment advisors like Bernie Madoff. Such actions will keep overstatements of the financial health of an investor's money to a minimum and offer integral evidence that will help lead future financial decisions for the investment firm. Other issues like check kitting can be handled via conducting banking reconciliations with any and all operative accounts. This kind of procedure allows the auditor to establish actual bank balanced, shining light on any discrepancies existing within the accounts.

A peer review consists of an independent assessment by a peer of the work from a professional entity within the same industry (Fountain, 2016). Peer reviews include a detailed examination of any accounting work from the company by another company that has no affiliations or connections with the professional entity being audited. This allows for an independent qualification/corroboration of accounted displayed to auditor or clients. The exercise guarantees the firm audited maintained industry standards and keeps accounting practices above board with any conflicting interests eliminated.

If Madoff's firm would have undergone a peer review, his fraudulent actions would have been recognized….....

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Fountain, L. (2016). Ethics and the internal auditor's political dilemma: Tools and techniques to evaluate a company's ethical culture. CRC Press.

Knapp, M. C. (2011). Contemporary auditing: Real issues and cases. Mason, OH: South-Western / Cengage Learning.

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