Human Capital & Careers

Symbolic Logic: No Executive Bonuses

The accounting problems at Symbol Technologies spill over into officers' pocketbooks.
Stephen TaubMarch 14, 2003

Besides brooding on their company’s ongoing accounting woes, executives at beleaguered Symbol Technologies now have personal financial shortfalls to ponder. As a result of a misstep in expense entry, no executive bonuses will be paid for 2002.

Symbol management acknowledged that, as part of the ongoing 2002 audit process, it discovered that certain department-level accrued expenses were improperly understated or applied, and not in conformance with generally accepted accounting principles. These improper entries totaled roughly $9 million. The company claims the worker responsible for the entries was terminated last month.

The correction of these entries resulted in the company not meeting the minimum threshold for performance bonuses for selected employees. That includes all executive officers.

The bar-code company, already under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, also reported that a number of former employees have received Wells notices from the SEC. The notices state that the commission is considering recommending civil actions against the company and the ex-employees.

Symbol added that the SEC may seek a permanent injunction and a fine.

Symbol’s management also noted it is reviewing the notice and is in the process of responding to the SEC.

The company’s management also said it expects to delay the restatement of previously reported financial results to June from March 31. “The company and its independent auditors are in the process of conducting the audit of 2002 financial results as well as preparing a restatement of previously reported financial results, which it believes will cover the years 1999 through 2002,” it added in a press release.

Last month, in releasing unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2002, the company indicated that those results were subject to change in light of the audit process, the company’s internal investigation, and/or the likely restatement.

Last month management at the bar-code maker indicated Symbol may have to restate revenues and earnings for the years 1999 through 2002.

On Wednesday Symbol announced that Robert W. Korkuc resigned as vice president and chief accounting officer.

At the end of last year, Kenneth V. Jaeggi resigned as senior vice president and chief financial officer of Symbol.

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