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The Rittenhouse Rankings: Cut through Financial Reporting's FOG

Total Credits: 2 including 2 Accounting - Technical

Average Rating:
ACPEN Industry Institute |  Accounting and Auditing |  Industry
Dan Chenoweth
Course Levels:
2 Hours


“Numbers report results but words reveal the integrity of leadership and the corporate culture.” 

-L.J. Rittenhouse


Accountants tend to be more interested in financial statements and footnotes than the CEO letter which accompanies the financial statements.  We like quantifiable facts and data.  Management’s discussion of results, on the other hand, is “squishy,” intangible and, arguably, not measurable.  In this seminar we will learn how to analyze management’s discussion of results to predict the organization’s long-term success or failure. 

Laura Rittenhouse developed a methodology called Rittenhouse Rankings in which she reviews all shareholder correspondence and annual reports from 100 companies.  She looks for the difference between candor and quantifiable objectives in this correspondence vs. FOG, Fact-deficient, Obfuscating Generalities such as clichés, jargon, hyperbole and weasel words.  The result is a “candor score” for each of the 100 company reports she analyzes annually.  She then correlates the candor scores with share performance.  Her methodology predicted the collapse of both Enron and the fall of Lehman Brothers.  Trust is the foundation for long-term business success.  Candor is the language of leaders who choose to be trusted.


Basic Course Information

Learning Objectives

*Provide background and foundation for participants regarding the importance of candor as a predictor of future business success.

*Introduce Rittenhouse Rankings as a way to measure executive candor.

*Gain an understanding that candor can be quantified and executive’s words do matter!

Major Subjects

*Candor:  What it is, why it is significant and the importance of the “tone at the top” to create an ethical work environment.

*Risk:  How to define risk and why a profound understanding of risk is important to long-term business success.

*Culture Gone Awry – Mistakes and Mishaps:  How the wrong corporate culture can prevent employees from understanding their organization’s business model and distorts the difference between right and wrong using two cases as examples―the Veterans Administration scandal and the ignition key fiasco at General Motors.

*Quantifying Candor:  Discussion of the Rittenhouse Rankings methodology as a way to measure executive candor and how candor correlates with market performance, revealing leadership integrity, alignment with corporate culture and investor confidence.  Measuring corporate candor is a way to predict future market performance and excessive risk taking. 

Course Materials


Dan Chenoweth's Profile

Dan Chenoweth Related seminars and products: 5


Dan Chenoweth, MBA, CPA, helps clients take their strategy to the bottom line through rigorous project management and change management techniques.  He has held executive level positions in general management, accounting and finance in a number of industries including telecommunications, printing and publishing, heavy equipment manufacturing and apparel manufacturing.  Dan lives in Loveland, Colorado and is a former Colorado Society of CPAs board member.

Additional Info

Basic Course Information

Advanced Preparation None
Course Developer Executive Education, Inc
Designed For

CFOs, those who aspire to be CFOs and internal and external auditors


Experience reading or composing management’s discussion of operations

Yellow Book


Additional Information

Complaint Resolution Policy Please contact Anne Taylor for any complaints., (972-377-8199).
Instructional Delivery Method Group Internet Based
Official Registry Statement

Business Professionals' Network, Inc. is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:

Course Registration Requirements

Online Registration

Refund/Cancellation Policy

Please contact the ACPEN help desk 1-877-602-9877 or if you wish to cancel your attendance for a previously purchased webcast and are requesting a refund or transfer. 

Promo Video



Overall:      4.5

Total Reviews: 47


Dana A - Wylie, Texas

"Very insightful information. Enjoyed the presentation this morning."

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