Re: I've seen it before, overvalue prior to buyout
In "the business" where Autonomy sold their products, the information retrieval sector, they were recognised as curates egg, good in parts, that is where the data was already structured, such as personnel records, etc. Where implementation work was required Autonomy billed significant consultancy fees, in addition to the leasing/per seat fee. Under UK accounting conventions, note, not rules, the consultancy fees, not yet collected, could be put on the books.
The cockup by UK auditors was not requiring sight of contracts for sales. If they had they would have seen the contracts were surrounded by ifs and buts.