A 13-year analysis of going concerns noted in the audit reports for financial statements filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission found that 2008 — when the global economy collapsed — produced the highest number of going concerns during the last 12 years.
The years before and after 2008 had almost as many, but there has been a steady decline ever since. According to the report’s authors, the decrease gives the wrong impression of what is actually going on.
"An initial review of the data seemed to provide positive news," says Don Whalen, general counsel and director of research of Massachusetts-based Audit Analytics, which compiles audit, regulatory and disclosure intelligence. "But a deeper analysis found reasons for pause."