Appendix 2

Alphabetical List of Most Important Accounting Scandals Across 12 Countries and Beyond since about 1980

This summary of the most important accounting scandals covered in this book has been provided by the individual authors. Generally, with a couple of rare, interesting cases, such as Fuji Sash and Riccar from Japan and RSV from the Netherlands, these date from 1980 onwards.


ABB is a company with a long and illustrious history of technological leadership and innovation in many industries. In order to list on the New York Stock Exchange in 2001, the company was required to change accounting principles from IAS to US GAAP. Reporting under the new set of accounting principles resulted in greatly reduced profits, and also brought to light the asbestos liability claims that had previously been hidden using what critics called creative accounting. In addition, the large repurchase of its own shares and the numerous acquisitions and dispositions made the financial statements very complex and difficult to compare between years and within the industry.


Adsteam was hailed as an entrepreneurial and well-managed corporation for most of the 1980s and yet built a group structure which involved a complex web of cross-shareholdings where companies’ accounts were consolidated on the basis of majority ownership rather than on the basis of effective control of other entities under the ‘substance over form’ notion of presenting a ‘true and fair ...

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