Dell filed its past-due financial reports from fiscal 2003 through 2006 and the first quarter of fiscal 2007, while shedding light on some of the accounting missteps that led to its financial restatements and delays.
The company said the restatements would result in a $92 million reduction in profit. However, Dell spent $205 million on the investigation. Among the issues it uncovered were weaknesses in internal controls.
The company also said it inadvertently failed to register with the SEC the sale of some shares under certain employee benefit plans. The company also described some of its off-balance sheet arrangements. And it admitted that it should have deferred revenue recognition from more of its software sales.
Dell said it would create a revenue recognition accounting resource function to coordinate complex revenue recognition matters and to provide oversight and guidance on the design of controls and processes.
Other problems occurred with warranty reserves on its income statements being larger than the estimated liability, and incorrect accounting for funding from vendors. Some of the money Dell received from vendors was listed as a reduction in operating expenses instead of as cost of goods sold.
"We are disappointed that these errors and irregularities occurred," said a letter from chairman and CEO Michael Dell. "But we also believe that the rigorous examination of our accounting and finance processes, along with the remedial actions taken and planned, have made and will continue to make Dell a far stronger company and provide a solid foundation on which to move the business forward and focus our energy on serving our customers. And we have a renewed focus on achieving and maintaining a strong control environment, high ethical standards and financial reporting integrity."
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