Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



The German company Wirecard saga is yet to be fully written. Similar in scope to Enron and others in the early 2000’s, many lessons will be learned for company executives, regulators, and especially auditors worldwide. For U.S. companies and auditors, the PCAOB (Public Company Accounting Oversight Board) has promulgated comprehensive audit standards and procedures designed for public companies, but these standards also could have ancillary application to private companies for auditors when planning the audit engagement. The red flags and audit issues that manifested in the Wirecard events will provide the financial and academic communities with robust case studies as well as prudent warning signals that can potentially lead to material financial statement irregularities. The authors chronicle Wirecard’s financial story based upon public news reporting and identify and address certain PCAOB requirements and procedures when observable issues or “red flags” become readily apparent, assuming Wirecard was a U.S. company. This article does not address international audit requirements or the legal ramifications and remedies surrounding Wirecard’s legal case. However, the article should be of interest to financial executives and directors of public companies that have primary responsibility for company’s financial statements.


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