ACCT 210 – Ch 3 Case Study: Olympus – Case Study 3 – Group 1

Read Case 3-7 on Olympus (pages 195-200 in your textbook) and watch the accompanying videos:


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There are 5 Discussion Questions related to this case (see below).

Please note, these questions are different than the ones in the book.

1) *** This is a good question for students with audit experience or who have at least taken an audit course.*** Does it seem reasonable that Olympus engaged in an accounting fraud for so long and the auditors did not detect it? What auditing procedures might have been able to detect the transactions in question? What caused the failure of the auditors to detect the fraud?

2) Evaluate the corporate culture at Olympus, including their corporate governance policies. What are the shortcomings and what do you think caused them? What recommendations would you give for Olympus to improve them?

3) Consider the Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse we learned about in Chapter 3 (see Chapter 3 Assignment: Warning Signs!!! for further information.) What is one sign that was present in the Olympus case? Use specific details from the case or videos to support your analysis.

4) When Michael Woodford blew the whistle on these accounting irregularities, there were mixed opinions – some people considered it courageous, while others considered it to be a betrayal. Explain both of these opinions from the viewpoint of the different stakeholders involved. Do you consider whistleblowing to be “proof of courage or betrayal?” Use ethical reasoning to support your opinion.

5) Imagine you are Michael Woodford – use the Giving Voice to Value (GVV) method we learned about in Chapter 2 to prepare what you will say when you confront the Board of Olympus about the fraud. Use a bullet point format and address all 4 parts of the GVV analysis:
-What are the reasons the Board may give you to rationalize why the fraud is acceptable?
-What is at stake for the key parties?
-What levers can you use to influence the Board?
-What is your most powerful and persuasive counterargument to the Board’s rationalizations from Part 1?


Each member of the group is responsible for posting an initial comment on ONE of the discussion questions above. Each group member must choose which question they want on a first-come, first-serve basis. There should only be one initial comment per question Because everyone in the group may be working on this at different times, there may be a lag in communication with your group. To ensure that there is no duplication of questions during this lag, you must first “claim” the question you want BEFORE you start working on your answer – that way the other group members will know that question is taken, and they can claim the others.


Your initial comment should be 5-10 sentences in length. To earn full credit, your post must be thoughtful, directly address the question, and demonstrate an understanding of the material by utilizing terms and concepts from the reading – for example, use ethical reasoning methods we learned in Chap 1. Add interest to your post by including analogies or other real life examples from your own experience or in the news.


Each group member must post responses to TWO of the other Discussion Questions that they did not initially address. Responses must be 3-5 sentences in length and must expand the discussion by adding a different viewpoint, asking a thoughtful question, bringing up another real life example from your own experience or in the news. Simply saying “I agree” or restating what has already been said is not acceptable – you must add something new to further the discussion. This assignment is meant to mimic the experience of having a discussion in real life, so please feel free to respond to the initial comment or any of the subsequent responses of your group members – but be sure to address by name the person you are responding to. When you post your response, make sure that you hit “reply” on the post you are responding to in order to keep the discussion of that question within the same thread.

If some group members fail to post their initial comments by the Initial Comment due date such that you do not have an initial comment to respond to, you may instead post a comment directly in response to one of the discussion questions that was not answered, 3-5 sentences in length.



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