Insider reveals creative Autonomy accounting

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Insider reveals creative Autonomy accounting

SaaS becomes software licenses.

A former Autonomy staffer has revealed emails indicating the company cooked the books prior to its $US10.2 billion ($A10 billion) sale to HP in 2011. HP subsequently wrote off $US8.8 billion related to the sale, citing accounting irregularities.

Speaking to Business Insider, Virginia Briody, a former Autonomy sales person provided email messages purporting to show how a four-year software as a service deal was morphed into a software licensing contract instead.

The contract was structured so a large amount of the fees were deemed to be for software licenses, according to Briody.

Furthermore, even though the customer was not going to install any software, Autonomy shipped product keys to unlock it - much to the customer's confusion, Briody says. 

Monthly payment terms were also put on a single invoice, and the customer was also billed for a large amount upfront, Briody alleges.

In doing so, Autonomy was able book most of the revenue from the deal upfront, amounting to US$1.8 million (A$1.7 million) making it appear as the company was growing far quicker than it actually was.

Briody is currently embroiled in separate legal action against HP to recover claimed unpaid commissions of US$200,000 for the deal after she was fired by the company.

According to Business Insider, HP and representatives of Autonomy's former chief executive Mike Lynch deny any wrongdoing with the deal Briody was involved. 

Instead, the two parties say Briody is upset that she lost a recent legal action against HP. 

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