Every year, Michelle Leder at www.footnoted.org, takes a look at the worst footnote disclosures that companies try to bury in their routine SEC filings. As her website states, the financial footnotes are important for all users, including professional money managers and analysts, accountants, and individual investors. According to her article, there are a lot of candidates for this distinction, so it is hard to whittle it down to just five.
- Take a look at Michelle’s entrants in the BNET.com article. Then, after 12/31/09, go to her website (www.footnoted.org) to see who won reader-nominated honor of having the worst disclosure. Do you agree? Why or why not?
- What is a retention payment?
- How should the retention payment for Martha Stewart be recorded in journal entry (or entries) form?
- What is a gross-up?
- How should a gross-up for Ross Perot Jr. be recorded in journal entry form by the company granting this concession? (For a hint, see http://www.footnoted.org/buried-treasure/perot-gets-a-gross-up/)
Ritholtz, B. (2009). 2009’s Worst Disclosures Buried in Footnotes, BNET.com, December 21 (Retrievable online at http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/12/2009s-worst-footnote-filings-with-the-sec/)
Leder, Michelle. (2009). Voting now open for worst footnote of 2009! Footnoted.org (Retrievable online at http://www.footnoted.org/)