The fight between HP and Autonomy saw the former autonomy CFO, Sushovan Hussain, being charged with accounting fraud by a federal grand jury in the US. The charges against Hussain alleged that he made false and misleading statements about Autonomy’s finances, put fraudulent entries into the company’s books, issued false and misleading quarterly and annual reports, and pressured and paid off people who raised complaints about the firm’s financial practices and performance.
The war between HP and Autonomy’s former management started when HP found issues in the Autonomy’s financials a few months after they bought the company for billions of dollars. More specifically; HP bought Autonomy in Q4 2011 for £6.7 billion, but in 2014 HP revised the 2010 accounts for Autonomy reducing the revenue and profit by up to 81%. HP took a £4 billion hit when they wrote off their investment in Autonomy.
The interesting thing in the deal was that all of the Big 4 firms were directly or indirectly involved in the transaction. Deloitte was the auditor for Autonomy and signed off on their 2010 financials, KPMG did the due diligence on Autonomy, PwC carried out the report into the takeover and finally EY are HP’s auditors and signed off on the restated financials. So in this case not sure which one of the audit firms are to be blamed! Maybe its a group effort.