Drew Bernstein

    Recent Posts

    From Copycats to Tigers: Why Chinese Tech Companies Can’t Be Ignored

    How Chinese Innovation Will Transform Tech Landscape

    Judging from the headlines, you might think Chinese technology companies are on the ropes. The Justice Department has been investigating and indicting telecom giants Huawei and ZTE. Rising U.S. tariffs threaten to displace China’s dominance in the global supply chain for electronics. And Chinese internet Goliaths Alibaba Group (NYSE:BABA) and Tencent saw their market values shaved in 2018 by investor jitters over government policies and a softening economy.

    In Cross Border M&A, Investing in China, China Economy, IPOs

    Why I Am Still Optimistic About Doing Business in China

    If you only read the newspaper or watched TV, one might think that the economic relationship between China and America was on the verge of an irreparable split. But as I shared in a recent interview on Bloomberg television, I actually remain fairly optimistic that, despite the many bumps in the road, the world’s two biggest economies will continue to find ways to work together and that deals will get done.

    In China Financial Due Diligence, China Economy, IPOs

    5 Keys to Survive as a Chinese CFO

    Or How to Be a Stock Market Success Without Losing Your Sanity

    The role of a Chief Financial Officer for a Chinese company listed on the U.S. stock market is intensely challenging. While the job of CFO generally has become increasingly complex due to the growth in regulatory oversight and the pressure from institutional shareholders, Chinese CFOs need to also bridge two very different business and legal cultures.

    In SEC Audits, IPOs

    China IPOs Have Banner Year in America

    While China's domestic IPO market languishes and uncertainty looms for 2019

    Tencent Music’s (NYSE:TME) $1.1 billion IPO on the NYSE last week put a shiny bow on a banner year for Chinese IPOs on U.S. stock markets, with over $8 billion raised year-to-date, twice the IPO haul for Chinese companies in 2017. With 30 Chinese companies having listed on NASDAQ or NYSE it’s the best year since 2014, when Alibaba’s (NYSE:BABA) $25 billion IPO broke all previous records. What’s more, there is a sizable pipeline of China “unicorns” with multi-billion dollar private valuations hoping to score listings in the near future.

    Given the deteriorating trade relations between China and the U.S., why are so many of China’s most innovative and valuable private companies still seeking to ring the opening bell in New York? And can this blistering pace of new IPOs be sustained?

    In SEC Audits, Advisory, Audit & Assurance Services, IPOs

    Baruch Lev: Accounting Doesn't Add Up

    Why Company Financial Reports No Longer Move Markets

    NYU accounting and finance professor Baruch Lev is one of the most incisive contrarian critics of current accounting practices. In his recent book, The End of Accounting (written with Feng Gu) and his blog, Lev argues that current accounting methods have become hopelessly out of step with how value is created in the modern economy, and that an accumulation of new accounting regulations have only made things worse. Professor Lev backs up his critique with reams of market data and regression analyses to demonstrate how flawed accounting measurements have caused earnings and book value to become nearly meaningless to investors and now create very serious managerial biases and errors in how capital is allocated.

    MarcumBP’s Drew Bernstein met with him to understand his views on where the principles of accounting went awry and how the structure of accounting might be reformed.

    In SEC Audits, Audit & Assurance Services

    Guru to the Gatekeepers

    Paul Gillis is Professor of Practice at Peking University's Guanghua School of Management and Editor of China Accounting Blog

     

    "If the trade war continues to escalate as Trump has threatened, there's going to be a big impact on the capital markets... I expect that we're going to see a winter in IPOs next year."

    Drew Bernstein:

    Paul, you've gotten to this point where you've become this guru for all issues related to accounting in China. How did that journey come about?

    Paul Gillis:                   

    I came to China 21 years ago. I was transferred here by the international accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers. It was Price Waterhouse at the time. I was in China with them for seven years. Then I took early retirement from PwC and I tried playing golf for a while, but got bored with that. So I went back to school. I first studied theology. I enjoyed the academic side of it, so I decided to get a PhD in accounting. I chose, as my topic for my dissertation, the development of the accounting profession in China.

    One of the things that I discovered in my research was that there were gaps in the regulation of Chinese companies that were starting to rush to U.S. stock exchanges in the early 2000s. Those gaps in regulation were likely to lead to an environment where there might be a lot of fraud. I predicted it would happen in my doctoral dissertation. About the time I finished it, it all came true. There were over 100 cases of fraud brought against overseas-listed Chinese companies. My work came to the attention of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), which asked me to serve on their standing advisory group. And also a lot of hedge funds and other market participants got interested in what I had to say.

    My blog, The China Accounting Blog, got quite a bit of attention. After a while, basically, everybody who was following the China stock market was reading what I was writing. That has led to me being, probably, the leading Western expert in Chinese accounting and auditing problems for overseas -listed Chinese companies.

    In SEC Audits, Investing in China, short sellers, IPOs

    Secrets to IPO Success for Chinese Companies

    2018 has been a banner year for Chinese IPOs thus far, with 23 Chinese companies going public on the U.S. stock markets in the first nine months. In the technology sector, Chinese innovators are outpacing American companies in the race to the opening bell. And there is a gathering herd of Chinese “unicorns” with multi-billion dollar valuations and strong backing from large private equity funds waiting for their turn to tap the public markets.

    In Audit & Assurance Services, IPOs

    Why Every Auditor Should Study Shenanigans

     

    An Interview with Howard Schilit

    Howard Schilit is America’s foremost scholar of the accounting tricks that public companies use to make their financial performance appear more enticing than the underlying reality.

    His seminal work, Financial Shenanigans: How to Detect Accounting Gimmicks and Fraud in Financial Statements, is required reading for financial analysts and aspiring fund managers. But like the prophet without honor in his own country, Schilit’s work has been strangely ignored in his own profession of accounting. MarcumBP’s Drew Bernstein sat down with Howard to learn about the latest in accounting skullduggery and why every auditor should be schooled in the fine art of financial fraud.

    In Forensic Accounting, short sellers

    Jim Chanos Isn’t Short on Ideas: How a Famed Investor Sniffs Out Financial Fraud

    More than eight years into the current stock market rally, professional equity bears have become an endangered species on Wall Street. And yet when I had the chance to sit down with famed short seller James Chanos last week, he was friendly, open, and highly optimistic about the opportunities to practice his tradecraft of sniffing out skunky accounting and malodorous business models.

    In short sellers
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