IT&T providers make up more than half the names on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's (ASIC's) latest list of companies claimed to have slipshod accounting practices.
In a nasty reminder of turn-of-the-century dot com carnage, ASIC formally named 27 firms that had been forced to change their financial reporting or accounting policies following an ASIC accounting standards review of some 400 companies.
At least 14 of those named fell into the IT&T category. They -- mainly delisted companies or in administration -- included software developers, integrators, distributors, telecommunications providers and e-business specialists.
Greg Pound, chief accountant at ASIC, said there had been no 'systemic' non-compliance with accounting standards in any particular area.
He added that six other companies whose reporting had caused preliminary concerns, including KAZ Group, had fixed their accounting practices.
Outsourcing specialist KAZ had in February adjusted its financial statements for the half-year ended 31 December 2003. Revenue went up 16 percent to $215 million, and net profits down 150 percent –- to a loss of 1.5 million.
Pound said that most companies named had cooperated and change had been achieved without ASIC needing to sue. 'We will, however, continue to pursue the outstanding matters to a resolution,' Pound said.
The 14 IT&T companies named have been forbidden from using a lower-content prospectus in future reports.
They were NSW distributor and software vendor Quadtel, which is currently trying to reinvent itself, Victoria's Adex Holdings, whose e-business subsidiary Address Express was placed into liquidation last year, Western Australia telco Advantage Telecommunications, NZ-based Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) vendor CommSoft Group, Western Australian electronics vendor and distributor Computronics Holdings and NSW-based e-commerce standards auditor eTick.
Smartcard operator Intercard Wireless, whose ASX listing was suspended in 1999, Dutch telecommunications software developer Objectif Telecommunications, which has been delisted from the ASX, delisted Perth mining company IT spin-off Powerise Technology, and Sydney-based telecommunications software developer and integrator Telemedia Networks were also on the list.
The final three IT&T companies named were recently-suspended Melbourne-based regional telecommunications provider Telezon, former IT company Weboz, and Victoria-based imaging software provider IM Medical, which entered administration March 2003 but was restored to official quotation in February.
More information was sought from a total of 30 companies. Another 13 companies may be added to the list in future, with another two possibly the subject of further action.