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These notes were prepared by Don Whalen.) This is another case of auditors walking barefoot over hot coals and walking away with no injuries.The audit firms were there, fanning the flames at the behest of clients, but judges refused to see that it was the auditors who had started the fires and stoked them with illegal advice.
Of all the parties who could have been seriously singed in the options back dating law enforcement conflagration ignited by Iowa academic Erik Lie, auditors were left pretty much unscathed.Abrams was not the only one saying auditors were an important part of the design, approval and implementation of the stock option backdating plans.Here’s law firm Mc Dermott Will & Emery in August 2006: Potential Claims Against Auditors Auditing firms are faced with a similar dilemma.Horowitz implies everyone knew the auditors’ role in the stock option backdating crimes. Why didn’t judges see that and hold auditors accountable?
A spokesperson for Ben Horowitz did not respond to my email request for comment.
Often, it is the auditing firms that provide advice concerning issuance of stock options and related tax ramifications.