Tuesday, September 01, 2015
A company that can't get its numbers right has a fundamental crisis of reputation. Consider Toshiba. It has delayed its annual results a second time because it continues to find more errors in accounting. One asks what kind of company is it that has to do that. It is clear now that Toshiba had been running for years with jiggered books. This indicates corruption at the highest levels of the company. Indeed, the previous CEO stepped down along with several executives as a result of the errors. That is as it should be. It will take years for Toshiba to win its reputation back, and analysts have a right to be skeptical of bottom-line results. The PR lesson is clear: Don't mess with the numbers.