Anyone interested in investing knows that IPO is a company’s initial public offering- the price they first sell shares for on the stock market. Companies must adhere to federal securities law by registering any transactions with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Here is a general high-level guideline for evaluating the quality, merit, and fairness of a company’s IPO to help you can make educated investments.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is pressing charges against 29-year-old Illinois resident Anshoo R. Sethi, who sold over $145 million in securities and collected $11 million in administrative fees for the ‘supposed’ construction of a Chicago Convention Center and Intercontinental Regional Center Trust of Chicago. Most of the 250 investors were from China, and believed they were investing in the building of the “World’s First Zero Carbon Emission Platinum LEED certified” hotel and conference center in Spring of 2012. It is alleged that Sethi and his companies forged U.S. citizenship and Immigration Services documents to create provisional Visa’s for the investors, who believed they were investing in their path to U.S. citizenship through the EB-5 program. The program enhances the chances of foreign investors getting their green card if they in invest $500,000-$1 million in a program which creates jobs for U.S. workers. Although Sethi has spent almost all of the administrative fee’s he collected, the SEC may have caught Sethi in the nick of time and has put a lock on the remaining $145 million. $2.5 million had been directed straight into Sethi’s personal account in Hong Kong. To read more, visit: http://www.sec.gov/news/press/2013/2013-20.htm.
Google SAS 104-115 and you will find mostly articles by us (Vibato) discussing the need for auditors to pay special attention to internal controls as part of their audit. Why? Because the AICPA & the PCAOB dictates standards that the auditors must adhere to in order to perform their audits. Parts of these requirements include reviewing your internal controls and this applies to ANY COMPANY THAT IS AUDITED – public, private, non-profit; it doesn’t matter. If you are audited, your auditors must look at your internal controls as part of your audit. If you do not have any documented internal controls then be prepared for a higher audit bill because your auditors will have to go looking for internal controls at your company on your dime year-over-year. Moreover, due to independence issues, they are not allowed to share their work with you to use going forward so they will do this work each year and all you will see for it is a higher bill. Period.
Our webinar How to Perform a Financial Risk Assessment is now available online. Click here to access the webinar directly.
There are serious consequences when public companies publish inaccurate earnings reports and then must restate those earnings at a later date. The corporate entity itself is subject to SEC fines, shareholder lawsuits, and a plummeting stock price, while the individuals who signed off on the original statements (including executives and board members) can be personally sued as well as required to pay back compensation received during the years in question (see our posts on the clawback provision).