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BearingPoint CFO Out; Error Found

By Terence O'Hara
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 2004; Page E01

McLean technology consulting company BearingPoint Inc. said yesterday that its chief financial officer, Robert S. Falcone, would retire on Nov. 30.

Also yesterday, the company said it found a $92.9 million accounting error on its third-quarter balance sheet.

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BearingPoint spokesman John Schneidawind said Falcone's departure and the accounting error were not related.

Falcone, 57, was the second senior officer to announce his departure from BearingPoint this month. Chief executive Randolph C. Blazer resigned by mutual agreement with BearingPoint's board on Nov. 11, after investor dissatisfaction with the company's performance.

The $92.9 million error resulted from an asset being classified incorrectly. Correcting the error did not affect the company's third-quarter profit or net worth. BearingPoint, according to a statement from the company, overstated accounts receivable and understated unbilled revenue by the same amount. The two items are related, referring broadly to revenue earned but not yet received by a client.

Schneidawind said he was unaware of how the error occurred or was uncovered.

It was the second time BearingPoint has revised its third-quarter financial statement. Earlier this month, it reduced two line items on its balance sheet by $3 million. In May, Moody's Investors Service placed the company's $250 million line of credit on review.

BearingPoint works on a variety of technology-related products for government and commercial customers, including integrating divergent technology systems and customizing software development. It had $841 million in revenue in the third quarter and has grown significantly in recent years through acquisitions. Formerly known as KPMG Consulting, it was spun out of accounting firm KPMG LLP in early 2000. It went public in February 2001 and took the BearingPoint name in 2002 to distinguish it from the accounting firm.

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