Cornerstone Research Connects: 2019 Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements


Cornerstone Research Connects is the firm’s podcast series in which we interview Cornerstone Research staff and in-house experts about their research and what the data can tell us about litigation trends. The authors discuss the annual Accounting Class Actions report and some of its key findings.

Elaine Harwood, Frank Mascari, and Laura Simmons, coauthors of the report, Accounting Class Action Filings and Settlements—2019 Review and Analysis, discuss their recent findings, including:

  • The record number of accounting class action filings in 2019.
  • The upward shift in the size of defendant firms.
  • The large number of accounting case settlements involving accompanying SEC and criminal actions.
  • The impact of the new revenue recognition standard on case filings and its expected impact on settlements.
About Accounting Cases

In this report, cases are considered “accounting cases” if they involve allegations related to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) violations, violations of other reporting standards, auditing violations, or weaknesses in internal controls over financial reporting.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Cornerstone Research.


  • Los Angeles

Elaine M. Harwood

Senior Vice President

  • Chicago

Frank T. Mascari


  • Washington

Laura E. Simmons

Senior Advisor