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CAQ’s Film Noir Sequel Aims To Demystify Audits

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ), an affiliate of the AICPA, has released the second in a series of video vignettes in the form of film noir-style cartoons, aimed at demystifying the system of investor protection, including the financial statement audit.   

To gain the benefit of the full back-story, I recommend watching the videos in the order in which they were released: 

As noted in CAQ’s 2/6/12 press release, the stars of the original film are back in the sequel. They are:    
  • Ledger Lines, the External Auditor
  • Indy Pendent, the Audit Committee Chairman    
  • Lotta Charts, the Chief Financial Officer ***
  • Ida Figures, the Internal Auditor, and      
  • Johnny Law, the Regulator. (that name has the ring of a WWE wrestler, doesn’t it?)
***I looked to see if Lotta Charts, the CFO, is in our member database, she is not currently a member of FEI.  If you’re reading this, Lotta, take advantage of FEI’s current membership promotion, (current promotion run through 2/29/12), to gain the benefits of FEI membership, including networking and educational opportunities within our chapters, committees, communities and events, and to receive free registration at our Summit Leadership Conference being held at Disney’s Contemporary Resort May 20-22, 2012. FEI’s Summit Conference will feature a keynote discussion by two veteran political strategists, Donna Brazile and Mary Matalin; additional featured speakers include Joe Echevarria, CEO of Deloitte LLP, Joseph Quinlan Managing Director and Chief Market Strategist of Bank of America Private Client Wealth Management, and Janet E. Petro, Deputy Director, John F. Kennedy Space Center. Breakout sessions are offered along three tracks: Corporate Finance Strategies, Leadership & Executive Development, and Finance & Information Technology.

Videos As A Vehicle for Expression
Both videos in CAQ’s System of Investor Protection Series, and additional resources, can be found on a boutique website set up by CAQ for this purpose:

There have been some positive press clips about the film series, including mentions in
and The Seattle Times, as excerpted on

I have also seen a couple of comments about the CAQ videos on an academic listserve (the AECM listserv, a
very interesting source of commentary on current topics, now administered via the AAA) in which a couple of professors appeared to question if the style, content, humor, etc. in the CAQ cartoon/films was too ‘dumbed down’ – NOTE: they did not use that term, but that seemed to be the jist of the question - for college students and professionals.  

My two cents (please see the disclaimer on the right side of this blog): I think the CAQ videos accomplish what
they set out to do, which is basically to be part of an educational financial literacy initiative for the masses (aka ‘the public’).   

As noted in CAQ’s 10/5/11 press release announcing the first video in the series:
“We know that many investors and members of the public have limited knowledge about how their interests are safeguarded,” CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli explained. “This video, and the others to follow, will entertain viewers while informing them about the distinct yet interrelated roles making up our system of investor protection, and hopefully narrow the expectation and information gap.”
I found the CAQ’s “System of Investor Protection” videos entertaining (of course, we at the FEI blog are big fans of videos in general; if you haven’t already seen it, check out our music video on complexity in financial reporting, “Hey There Bob Pozen.”  You can also check out our initial foray into music videos, produced by the Maryland Association of CPAs on CPA Island in the virtual world of Second Life, see the related post by MACPA's Executive Director, Tom Hood earlier this week in MACPA's CPA Success blog.)
Anti-Fraud Collaboration
As previously announced, FEI is part of a multi-association Anti-Fraud collaboration launched by the CAQ last year. Other organizations participating include the NACD and IIA. See the video, The Case for Collaboration, featuring CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli and CAQ Governing Board Member Michelle J. Hooper about the launch of the collaboration.
See also our Nov. 14, 2011 post: Anti-Fraud Collaboration Rolls Out Tools To Increase Awareness, Enhance Communication, which talks about the a number of FEI-led initiatives under this collaboration,
including release of FEI's Fraud Literacy Quiz, and a related article published in Financial Executive
magazine in Nov., 2011: Financial Reporting Fraud: Prevention Starts At The Top. (1 CPE is available for FEI members and nonmembers who read the magazine article, log into (or for nonmembers, create a free login account) FEI’s CPE Center, and answer the questions linked at the end of the magazine article. The CPE questions are a separate set of questions from the Fraud Literacy Quiz.)

The CAQ has some other interesting videos on its youtube site, such as snippets of some well known speakers participating in CAQ’s Public Dialogue Tour that took place in various cities in the U.S. in 2008, which culminated in the CAQ initiating the anti-fraud collaboration in tandem with releasing a report entitled, Deterring and Detecting Financial Reporting Fraud – A Platform for Action.
Posted: 2/17/2012 4:46:53 PM by Edith Orenstein | with 0 comments
Filed under: ,audit committee chair,audit committee chairman,Cindy Fornelli,corporate finance,Cynthia Fornelli,Donna Brazile,external auditor,FEI blog,film noir,finance,financial literacy,financial statement audit,fraud literacy quiz,fraud literacy,Ida Figures,Indy Pendent,information technology,internal auditor,Janet Petro,Joe Echevarria,Johnny Law,Joseph Quinlan,Ledger Lines,Lotta Charts,Mary Matalin,Michelle Hooper,Michelle J. Hooper,Summit Conference,system of investor protection,audit,auditors,CAQ,CFO,Deloitte,Executive,FEI,Financial,fraud,magazine,Summit,AICPA

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