Leaders of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board are hoping for a few good tips. In what could be viewed as a show of faith by the accounting board in the integrity of at least some members of corporate America, the PCAOB this week moved to encourage would-be whistleblowers by setting up an online form and a toll-free number so people can more easily -- and anonymously -- offer the board enforcement tips and report complaints.
The scandals of the past few years have made whistle blowing -- in spite of the term's negative connotation -- almost fashionable. Two well-known whistleblowers, Enron's Sherron Watkins, who warned former chief executive Ken Lay of the energy firm's impending financial collapse, and WorldCom's Cynthia Cooper, the internal auditor who uncovered irregularities and alerted the company's board, were both recognized by Time magazine as Persons of the Year for 2002.
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