The sixth annual Mary & Edward Goglin Essay Contest in the School of Accountancy and Management Information Systems has concluded, with Strobel Scholars program student Adam E. Spence taking the 2012 Goglin Prize. Spence, winner of the 2010-11 offering, becomes the first repeat awardee in the School’s two essay contests.
The topic of the 2011-12 contest was MF Global and the “material shortfall” of as much as $1.6 billion, leading to the firm’s declaring the eighth-largest bankruptcy in history. After a brief analysis of the major issues—the trading firm had used customers’ funds as its own (and had seemingly free access to those funds), and poor internal control—Spence considered the role of MF Global’s auditors, pointing out carefully that auditors are not regulators. The familiar question, he suggests, needs rephrasing: “Where were the regulators?” Not more but better, more coordinated and efficient regulation is required to prevent such financial catastrophes in the future. Meanwhile, he concludes, hundreds of millions of dollars are still, well, somewhere.
Under the general direction of John E. McEnroe, Deloitte Alumni Professor in the School of Accountancy, the Goglin Essay Contest seeks to stimulate and encourage excellence in two professional concerns of DePaul accounting students: an appreciation of timely and important issues in contemporary accounting practice, and the necessity for superior communication skills. Contest judge this year was the School’s Prof. Ning Du.