The Latest Accounting Scandal: AOL

from the oops dept

The Washington Post has a long (very long) investigative report about accounting questions at AOL. It seems that AOL started booking whatever they could as advertising revenue, including legal deals, shifting revenue from other divisions, buying ads for eBay – but counting it as its own revenue and many other somewhat sketchy practices. AOL has responded (very quickly) saying they’ve done nothing wrong (they base that on their auditors), and even if they had been doing stuff wrong, it would only account for a tiny (2%) portion of their revenue, and thus wouldn’t really matter. Ah, yes, the old “I didn’t do it, but if you can prove I did, then it wasn’t really my fault… though, if you can prove that it was my fault, then it really wasn’t a big deal anyway” defense. Update: Right now it appears the Post is having problems with keeping their website working properly, so you can read a summary of their article via the folks at Reuters.

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