Microsoft confirmed last week that it is being investigated by the US Securities and Exchange Commission over its accounting practices, which came to light after an ex-employee blew the whistle in a newspaper article.
Microsoft's policy, commonly known as a "cookie jar" accounting scheme, involves holding back profits from good years to pad out bad years, so as to present financial analysts with a smooth, steady growth curve. Microsoft CFO Greg Maffei said the company was cooperating with the SEC and would change its accounting practices to show profits from Windows and Office as they occurred.
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