Thursday, February 9, 2012

Inappropriate accounting for payment- Diamond Foods, Inc

As published in Diamond Foods' website on 08 February 2012. Diamond Foods, Inc announced that audit committee's investigation of the Company's accounting for certain crop payments to walnut growers is substantially completed. The findings shows that financial statement for FY 2010 and FY 2011 will need to be restated.
"The Audit Committee has concluded that a "continuity" payment made to growers in August 2010 of approximately $20 million and a "momentum" payment made to growers in September 2011 of approximately $60 million were not accounted for in the correct periods, and the Audit Committee identified material weaknesses in the Company's internal control over financial reporting." [ Quoted from the Company's announcement]

It is not mentioned on the accounting treatment for the payment to walnut growers. Questions we are interested in is:
- what was the accounting treatment that had been recorded for payment to Walnut Growers
- what should be the appropriate accounting treatment
- how would the financials been affected
- will the profit & loss of the Company been affected immediately
- are there any interested party relationship between Diamond Foods, Inc and those walnut growers
- had a proper review of the financials been reviewed earlier

For the 12-month-ended July 2011, Diamond Foods recorded a net profit before tax of about US$69mil. Shareholder's Equity amounted to US$495mil as at 31 July 2011. In our opinion, US$80mil of payment ( i.e. US$20mil + US$60mil) represents a significant amount to the Company's financial statement.

In addition, the audit committee also identified mateiral weakness in the Company's internal control. As evidenced, it is crucial to have a sound internal control environment to support the financial statement closing process of the Company.

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