An Analytical View on the Theranos Fraud and the Way Forward–An Accounting Perspective

  •  Janine Bundy    
  •  Ikechukwu Ndu    


This case research paper was developed as an assessment as part of an undergraduate accounting course taught at a United States university and illustrates how other faculty members could integrate a similar project into their course. This study focuses on the accounting regulation for intangible assets in the private industry by exploring the case of Theranos. The main findings indicate that additional regulation is needed as well as the introduction of appropriate intangible asset accounting standards. The study contributes in several ways. First, it recommends that the FASB (Financial Accounting Standards Board) adopts the IAS 38 accounting standard used by the IASB (International Accounting Standards Board) for the capitalization of internally generated intangible assets. Another suggested improvement in the regulation of the private industry is to mandate private companies involved in research and development activities and the internal generation of intangible assets, to provide users with timely audited financial statements.

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