Accounting News Roundup: ‘Special Skills in Accounting’ and Rent Expense Puzzles | 05.02.18

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Ex-Autonomy CFO Convicted of Massive Fraud [CFO]
Sushovan Hussain used his “special skills in accounting” for good instead of evil, essentially duping HP into buying Autonomy.

[P]rosecutors presented evidence that Hussain used backdated contracts, round-trips, channel stuffing, and other forms of accounting fraud to inflate Autonomy’s publicly-reported revenues by as much as 14.6% in 2009, 17.9% in 2010, 21.5% in the first quarter of 2011, and 12.4% in the second quarter of 2011.

Hussain’s lawyer said his client would appeal and expressed dismay “that the United States Department of Justice lent its support to HP’s campaign to blame others for its own catastrophic failings.”

WeWorked to solve a rent-accounting puzzle [FT]
If you enjoyed WeWork’s accounting gymnastics last week, you’ll love this FT Alphaville column that goes further into the weeds on the company’s straight-lining rent adjustment. An adjustment, Alexandra Scaggs writes, that even causes the extra-lenient, company’s never-been-heard-of “community adjusted Ebitda” metric to be negative.

Apple Says It Will Buy Back $100 Billion in Stock [NYT]
Thanks, tax cuts! “No company has ever done stock buybacks like Apple. In the most recent quarter, Apple repurchased $23.5 billion in stock — the largest single stock buyback ever.”

Previously, on Going Concern…

Megan Lewczyk wrote about the IRS’s legacy systems.

In Open Items, someone wonders if they should apply to two different jobs at the same firm.

From the archives: Life in Public Accounting: Expectations vs. Reality

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