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.
HP takes hit on Autonomy deal
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