Boards and External Auditors…Useless?

by Rufus Sufur

So here we go again with another accounting scandal, this time involving HP. Details are still unfolding but you can check out a story by Bloomberg for more information.

If the allegations are proved true, there are many deep-rooted problems here but I think they can be summarized as (in no particular order):

  • The board didn’t do their job
  • The external auditor (Deloitte) didn’t do their job
  • HP executive management didn’t do their job

(You can substitute “didn’t do their job” with “did a crappy job” or “did a really, really crappy job” if you like)

So what are the ramifications for those involved? Not much I suspect. Meg Whitman was on the board and approved the acquisition. Yet she is now CEO. Deloitte will have other clients. As long as they can show they didn’t willfully assist any coverup, they will continue an a going concern. Lastly, HP management will apologize. I suppose that’s about it. Long live corporate greed.