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Financial Shenanigans, Fourth Edition: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks & Fraud in Financial Reports, 4th Edition by Yoni Engelhart, Jeremy Perler, Howard M. Schilit

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5

Earnings Manipulation Shenanigan No. 3: Boosting Income Using One-Time or Unsustainable Activities

When a magician wants to make a rabbit appear out of thin air, he may tap a wand or say the magic word “abracadabra.” Not to be outdone, corporate executives have their own way of creating something out of nothing when it comes to reporting earnings. Executives don’t need special props, though, and they don’t need to use special words like “abracadabra.” All they need is a few simple techniques.

One-time gains are akin to the proverbial rabbit in the hat, magically appearing from nowhere. A struggling company may be tempted to use certain techniques that boost income by using one-time or unsustainable activities. This chapter explores such methods, ...

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