To raise the level of ethical behavior in the financial services industry. Learn more ยป

Grumpy Old Accountants

Anthony H. Catanach, Jr., Ph.D.
Cary M. Maguire Fellow

Grumpy Old Accountants provides biweekly commentary (approximately every two weeks) on contemporary accounting, auditing, and financial reporting issues “ripped from the headlines” of major business publications. This forum is dedicated to promoting ethical and transparent financial reporting, common sense standard-setting, and effective auditing. Content is provided by Anthony H. Catanach, Jr., who is a Fellow with the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics in Financial Services at The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

As a grumpy old accountant, Tony (together with his now retired Grumpy Old Accountant colleague Ed Ketz) has identified and reported on financial reporting anomalies—which all too often have come to pass—at a number of well-known public companies. Tony’s 35 years of practical business and academic experience gives him a unique historical perspective missing in many large accounting and financial organizations that suffer from management and staff turnover.  He has witnessed almost four decades of financial reporting irregularities, and can quickly recognize these “games” in today’s financial reports.  Most of today’s shenanigans have been played in scandals from yesteryear.  He has seen them before; he can spot replications of old frauds, misrepresentations, and exaggerations. Given the predictive ability of his fundamental financial analysis, coupled with the business wisdom only a grumpy old accountant could possess, he is a natural fit for commenting on contemporary ethical reporting issues.

Grumpy Old Accountants will:

  • Critically review the audit quality of large accounting firms and discuss the appropriateness of what they do and whether they contribute to the financial reporting process.
  • Comment on standard-setters such as the FASB and the IASB—whether their exposure drafts and new standards are improvements or just dysfunctional will-o’-the-wisps.
  • Track activities by the SEC, the PCAOB, Congress, the White House, and credit rating agencies, and discuss whether they are improving financial reporting or whether they are hurting the investment community.
  • Apply academic models and tools useful in conducting detailed financial analyses.

Viewers and readers will find the commentary not only controversial and topical, but very readable and understandable—characteristics uncommon to most accounting discourse.  The video and narrative also will provide supporting Web-links web links to facilitate research of the issues discussed.

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