Network Associates restates earnings after investigation

The Associated Press
Saturday May 18, 2002

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Computer security firm Network Associates restated its earnings from 1998 to 2000 on Friday, reducing reported profits by about $28 million, after completing an internal probe that uncovered accounting irregularities. 

The Santa Clara-based company first announced the investigation in April, a month after disclosing its bookkeeping was also under review by the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

The company’s internal audit committee said the restatements stem from inaccurate entries that reclassified amounts from tax liability accounts to the general and administrative and liability accounts. 

In 2000, payments to a distributor were recorded in a balance sheet tax liability account instead of reducing net revenue. 

During the review, auditors reviewed every bookkeeping entry over $1 million from 1998 to the present. The problems stemmed from the actions of a single employee who is no longer is employed by the company, said Network Associates chief executive George Samenuk. 

“We reviewed every transaction related to that individual regardless of size,” he said. “We also reviewed transactions related to individuals closely associated with the person in question.” 

The company widened its fiscal 2000 net loss by $21.2 million, to $123.9 million. For 1999, the net loss decreased $3 million to $156.9 million. For 1998, the net income decreased $4 million to $32.4 million.