Autonomy Auditor Denies Knowledge of HP’s Fraud Claims
Today, an account auditing firm that audited Autonomy’s financials before the company was purchase by HP has denied any knowledge of the accounting improprieties HP alleges.
According to a statement obtained by the New York Times, auditing firm Deloitte “categorically denies that it had any knowledge of any accounting improprieties or misrepresentations in Autonomy’s financial statements.” From the statement:
“We conducted our audit work in full compliance with regulation and professional standards. We are unable to discuss our audit work further due to client confidentiality. We will cooperate with the relevant authorities with any investigations into these allegations.”
Deloitte was mentioned by name by HP CEO Meg Whitman (pictured above) during the company’s fourth quarter 2012 earnings call as one of the accounting firms the HP board relied on while doing due diligence for the Autonomy purchase. Deloitte made it clear that, though Deloitte UK was auditor to Autonomy when the HP sale occurred, it “was not engaged by HP, or by Autonomy, to provide any due diligence in relation to the acquisition of Autonomy.”
On November 20, HP announced it would be taking an $8.8 billion impairment charge, $5 billion of which is due to what it calls “serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentations, and disclosure failures” at Autonomy prior to HP’s acquisition of the company. HP stated that after Autonomy founder Mike Lynch left the company, a “senior member” of Autonomy’s leadership stepped forward and blew the whistle on questionable accounting and business practices. Later that day, Lynch fired back at HP, calling their figures “mad” and implying that it’s no coincidence the announcement came on the heels of HP’s worst earnings results in history.