Autonomy’s Creative Accounting

January 18, 2013

Autonomy is the hot seat after HP discovered $5 billion worth of creative accounting. HP accused Autonomy of selling software-as-a-service contracts as licensing deals and, of course, the company has denied all allegations. The Department of Justice is currently investigating the claims. Business Insider sat down with one of Autonomy’s former employees to gain insight: “Exclusive: A Former Autonomy Salesperson Says This Is How The Creative Accounting Was Done.” Virginia Briody explained how:

“…Prior to HP’s acquisition, Autonomy executives massaged a SaaS deal into a big software licensing deal so they could recognize revenue up front, and show more growth than what the deal really was, a monthly agreement spanning four years. She says she has evidence – emails and documents.”

Briody is not unbiased, though, as she is currently in a legal battle with HP for unpaid compensation. Her story describes how Autonomy bought out a former company she worked for and inherited the Pioneer Investments contract. Autonomy did not gain all the pieces called for the original contract, so they changed the contract from a hosting to a software licensing deal. Autonomy did this to get the revenue up front. The mess gets even more bungled. It is interesting how contracts can be reworked to reflect dishonesty, if the allegations come out to be true. If so, woe to Autonomy and HP.

Whitney Grace, January 18, 2013

Sponsored by, developer of Beyond Search


One Response to “Autonomy’s Creative Accounting”

  1. Martin Griffies on January 18th, 2013 10:14 am

    It is more accurate to say that HP claims to have discovered the creative accounting. Since HP apparently had some 350 financial staff & advisors working on due diligence before the deal, there may be some sour grapes and creative reporting going on, too.

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