Re: BT NextGenitalia (aka. Forward thinking C***ts)
"Best Practice? Nothing to do with best accounting practice regards Tesco."
I'm pretty sure that unless you're working for the Mafia, best accounting practice never involves deliberate fraud. The point I was making was that BT makes it very clear at all levels that such activities are unacceptable and will lead to dismissal and possibly prosecution.
I'll also (un)happily note that upper management can often have a different view on "unacceptable" when compared to the lower tiers of management - and often seem to get away with far more at a much lower cost than other employees would be allowed to do - but as I said above, in BT at least, everyone has to provide explicit annual proof that they're aware of the rules and regulations which pertain to their role. I may even still have some of my old printed certificate-of-completions hanging around somewhere!
""I'm guessing it was more a case of inflated numbers and stuff being rapidly shuffled between divisions and/or bank accounts to make things look good and keep bonuses high."
In my book what you have just written 'is' fraud/corruption. You seem to see this a "light touch" manipulation?"
No, it's still fraud and corruption. The point I was trying to make was related to the original poster's "how you don't notice £530 million going missing": it wouldn't have been a single lump sum which could be easily spotted by running =SUM(A1,A20) over an Excel spreadsheet. Instead, it'll have been lots of things overstated, understated, assigned the wrong depreciation rate, calculated using an incorrect exchange rate, unrecipted, double-charged and a dozen other things that will only be understood by a professional accountant with full access to the books and a thorough understanding of the company's processes and the applicable national/international legislation.
Apologies if that wasn't entirely clear!
In the meantime, it looks like the knives have been sharpened and a few heads are starting to roll, starting with the head of BT's Continental Europe division (aka the ex-head of BT Italy). Though again, as per above, I'd guess his leaving statement will be phrased to handwave as much personal responsibility as possible away...