Hewlett-Packard’s claims of financial improprieties at Autonomy Corp. have accounting experts questioning whether the allegations are an attempt to divert attention from yet another bad acquisition. HP said it recorded an $8.8 billion write-down related to its purchase of the British software maker. More than $5 billion of that impairment charge was the result of accounting practices at Autonomy. About $200 million of Autonomy’s revenue had been recorded prematurely or improperly, according to HP’s general counsel. The write-down follows HP’s August announcement that it would take a charge of $9.2 billion, largely related to its purchase of Electronic Data Systems Corp. Current CEO Meg Whitman and chairman Ray Lane served on the board when it signed off on the deal.
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