Interpublic Group of Companies Inc., which includes several of the world's largest advertising agencies, said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will correct four years of earnings spanning 2000 to 2004.
In a statement, the company said that an investigation of accounting errors and potential misconduct has also led to the firing of several employees.
"Our top priority is to fix our financial controls and leave accounting issues behind us," said chairman and chief executive Michael I. Roth, in a statement. "The comprehensive review of our financial results and processes that we have undertaken is consistent with this objective."
In the SEC filing, Interpublic, whose clients include General Motors and Microsoft, said that errors in accounting for revenue, acquisitions and lease expenses led to their state-side accounting problems. The bookkeeping issues and probe into its finances also resulted in a delay of Interpublic's 2004 financial report, which the company said should be released by auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers by the end of September.
The company has been under investigation by the SEC since an earlier restatement involving accounting for its European operations. The company said most of the agencies being investigated are outside of the United States, and that so far, falsified book and records; violations of laws, regulations and company policies; misappropriation of assets; and inappropriate customer charges and dealings with vendors had been uncovered.
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