Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



There had been many recent cases of restatements of financial statements by US Corporations. Recently an article in the Wall Street Journal mentioned restatements by Bank of America, Nike and Alphabet among the 663 companies that filed financial revisions or restatements last year. Interestingly the frequency of these errors has more than doubled since 2002, when the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance law was enacted, partly to increase managerial accountability. We will also examine what are the differences between restatements and revisions. We will examine what are the most common mistakes. Over half of last year's corrections involved debt and equity, cash flows or taxes. Many of these issues are also major differences between US GAAP and IFRS, making comparison with international firms even more difficult. We will try to explain why a firm chooses a restatement or revision to announce the correction of errors.