Zar, Inc., a high‐tech company, has recently experienced turnover in its CEO and CFO positions. Zar, like other firms in its industry, is undergoing a down year due to the declining economy. Thomas Brown, who has recently been hired as the CFO, quickly realizes that there is little he can do to avoid the firm's first loss in many years. However, Thomas also understands that there are things that he can do to pave the way toward greater profits in the future. You are invited to listen in on three separate conversations that the CFO has with the CEO, the firm's audit committee, and finally with Zar's independent auditor. After hearing each conversation, you will be asked to evaluate the CFO's ideas as well as those of other parties to the dialogue. Some of the questions are rather straightforward and can be answered by recalling or researching specific accounting standards. Other questions are more open‐ended and will require your best judgment based on the facts given in the case. Some questions may require you to provide additional information before making a definite decision. All of the scenarios focus on earnings quality and should enhance your understanding of this critical and controversial issue that pervades financial reporting today.

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