Questions & Answers ListCategory: QuestionsCan you tell me how to write a critical response
Chis asked 11 months ago

Hello, I’m wondering if i can get a sample answer for this case.
a letter from prison stephen richard
Just a sample!
Case Study – A Letter from Prison
Stephen Richards – Computer Associates

  • Richards, 45, pleaded guilty in November 2006 to securities fraud, obstruction of justice and perjury.
  • He was accused of manipulating earning by backdating contracts to make it appear that they were contracts that belonged in the previous quarter. That is, fraud to artificially boost quarterly revenues.  This practice is called the ’35 day month’ and is common in business.
  • The contracts were not fake, they existed and customers did pay the money they owed to the firm.
  • He served 3 ½ years in a Californian prison.
  • His wife and 5 children have lived in Australia since August 2006, and Richards now lives here too.

Quotes from Richards extracted from his ‘Letter from Prison’:
‘Being able to demonstrate both an improved financial and competitive performance is critical to success’.
‘Culturally at CA you lived on a knife edge. Even at the most senior levels of the business non-performance was not accepted’.
‘Ultimately the lines between legal and illegal as it relates to some practices become very blurry and are subject to individual interpretation.’
‘Understand that unfortunately the world is not black and white.  A senior manager spends most of their life in the grey regardless of their responsibility, and that can be a dangerous and hard place to be.’

  • What was the crime? Explain in detail what Computer Associates were doing. (15 marks)

Approx.: 200 words

  • Would their actions be criminal in Australia? Explain in detail. (10 marks)

Approx.: 100 words

  • What is the current evidence on earnings management and what ethical issues are involved? (50 marks)
  • In your answer you should consider:
    • Different views of earnings management
    • Why is revenue/earnings particularly important to the various stakeholders?
    • When does managing the company become earnings management?
    • Refer to current research in peer reviewed journals on the evidence of earnings management.

Approx.: 500 words

  • Do you think Richards was unethical? Explain what ethical issues are involved in the case. (10 marks)

Approx.: 100 words

  • What would you have done faced with the same situation? Why? (5 marks)

Approx.: 100 words

  • Referencing and formatting: 10 marks. There is no specific reference style but it should be consistent. There is no specific format- but be consistent. Use standard formatting eg 12point font. (10 marks)

Total words: Maximum approximately 1000 words 100 marks

Your Answer


Forgotten Password?