BriteSmile Auditor Resigns

Deloitte and Touche parts ways with the teeth-whitening company less than a month after the resignation of BriteSmile chief executive officer Gregg...
Craig SchneiderJuly 25, 2005

There are few happy faces at BriteSmile Inc. these days. The teeth-whitening technology company announced Monday in a regulatory filing that Deloitte & Touche LLP resigned as its independent auditor on July 18 following concerns over BriteSmile’s internal controls.

The announcement comes less than a month after the unexplained resignation of Gregg Coccari, BriteSmile’s chief executive officer, after just six months on the job. The company’s president, Julian Feneley, has been named as Coccari’s replacement at the Walnut Creek, California-based company.

For ended March 26, Deloitte reported that inadequacies in the design and execution of the company’s control structure, as well as improper application of accounting principles, constituted material weaknesses in the company’s internal-control structure for the fiscal year ended December 25, according to the BriteSmile filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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Deloitte’s audit noted internal-control deficiencies or inadequacies concerning payments made to vendors without adequate supporting documents and physical inventory counts; tracking of fixed assets; and timely completion of account reconciliations. While the issues may not relate to material dollar amounts, according to the BriteSmile filing, Deloitte’s opinion was that in aggregate they represented a material weakness in controls.

BriteSmile stated in its filing that with respect to any specific adjustments identified in the audit process related to improper application of accounting principles or inadequacy of internal controls, it believes that “all such adjustments have been made.” The company added that its consolidated financials for each of the past two fiscal years did not contain an adverse opinion or a disclaimer of opinion and were not qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope, or accounting principles.

In June, BriteSmile informed Deloitte that an investigation into certain matters raised by then-CEO Coccari did not identify any issues that would have a material impact on the company’s reported financial results, today’s filing stated. Deloitte has not commenced a review of BriteSmile’s interim financial statements for its 2005 second quarter, and the auditor resigned prior to receiving specific details of the investigation.

Meanwhile, BriteSmile also announced that it has started the process of selecting a new independent auditor.