Toshiba finds more accountacy holes

ToshibaTroubled Toshiba is still having problems with its cooked books.

The outfit revealed additional accounting irregularities after a multi-billion dollar accounting scandal last year, rekindling doubts over the company’s pledge to improve transparency.

The laptops-to-nuclear conglomerate said it had overstated past profits by $51.30 million on a pretax basis due to seven new accounting errors.

Toshiba said the company had treated the additional errors as losses in financial reports for two quarters through December, but had not publicly announced them because the amount was below the threshold requiring regulatory disclosure.

The company “lacked awareness for appropriate disclosure”, a Toshiba spokeswoman said.

Fixing responsibilities for the latest errors, Toshiba said it had “punished” 40 more employees, in addition to 26 which it said previously had been punished. The company has not specified what form the punishment has taken.  They might have been taken to the carpark covered with cherry blossom, told to write a poem about the fleeting nature of life, and the importance of not getting caught, before offing themselves with a canteen plastic knife.

Toshiba also said it would aim to bolster internal controls by hiring a permanent auditor who will oversee its accounts to ensure the company complies with regulations.

Toshiba “will make a united effort to improve internal control and corporate culture,” it said in a statement.

Chief Executive Masashi Muromachi has announced more than 10,000 job cuts and plans to sell its loss-making laptops and home appliances businesses.

Toshiba last week said it granted Canon exclusive negotiating rights to buy its medical equipment unit after a hotly contested auction, and one source with knowledge of the talks put Canon’s offer at more than $6 billion.

Funds from the deal will help Toshiba drop earlier plans to seek about $1.8 billion in additional loans from Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, Mizuho Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank.