Xerox fluffs numbers

What's a few billion between auditors?

Copier company - Xerox has jangled the nerves of corporate America over concerns about its financial results.

Xerox has a history of funny bookkeeping, which is why in April, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reckoned that the copier company had fluffed its numbers to the tune of $3 billion from 1997 to 2000 and fined it $10 million.

Today, though, the Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources which claim the accounting error could be more than a whopping $6 billion.

Yet, a Xerox spokeswoman is reported as saying the figures are probably out by around $2 billion.

Confused? You aren't alone. However, it simply boils down to trust.

In the week that WorldCom became embroiled in a $3.8 billion accounting scandal reports like this do little for investors' blood pressure. ®

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