Enron collapse to be examined in new course

by Dennis Brown

The troubling business and accounting issues associated with the collapse of Enron Corp. will be examined in a course beginning March 18 (Monday) at the University of Notre Dame.p. Open to students with at least nine hours of accounting courses, the one-credit lyceum ? or public symposium ? also will be available for no credit and at no charge to other interested students, accounting professionals and the general public. (Students may DART into the course beginning Tuesday [Feb. 26] and Continuing Professional Education [CPE credit] documentation will be provided to practicing accountants.)p. Classes will be conducted from 7:30-9 p.m. each Monday from March 18-April 22 in the Jordan Auditorium of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.p. Before filing for Chapter 11 reorganization Dec. 2 ? the largest bankruptcy in American history? Houston-based Enron was the world’s leading energy-trading company with revenues of $101 billion in 2000. The company’s collapse has brought to the forefront questions concerning accounting and auditing practices, financial services, 401(k) accounts, and the deregulation of utilities.p. “The Enron debacle is the most important event to impact the accounting profession in recent memory,” said Thomas Frecka, Vincent and Rose Lizzadro Professor of Accountancy, who conceived and will coordinate the course (Acct. 487). “Given the singular importance of this event, we would be remiss if we didn’t provide a forum for our students and members of the financial community to explore the issues that are so prominently in the news.”p. The course will draw upon the expertise of a broad group of accountancy and other Notre Dame faculty members and will focus on the following topics:p. p. ? Accounting disclosures, analysis and valuationp. ? Special purpose entities and off-balance-sheet financingp. ? Tax disclosuresp. ? Pension and management compensationp. ? The provision of audit and nonaudit servicesp. ? Legal and ethical issuesp. p. For additional information, contact Frecka at frecka.1@nd.edu or (574) 631-8395.

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