After all Dell has done recently to try and improve its reputation in the public eye, it's a shame to see today's slightly more negative reports. Following an internal investigation which started way back in August 2006 and involved the checking of over five million documents (sounds like my daily job) Dell executives have had to admit that financial reports were regularly "tweaked" in order to achieve targets.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission's investigation is still ongoing and it is as yet unknown has to whether any legal action will be taken against Dell. Certainly many shareholders may feel the need, (this is America we're talking about after all) while federal prosecution representatives have subpoenaed financial reports going back as far as 2002.
The net result (pun intended) is that Dell will have to restate its earnings for 2003 through 2006 by between $50 and $150 million. Of course for a multi-billion turnover company the actual amount is going to do a whole lot less damage that the negative publicity surrounding the news. Dell does insist that all those involved who had knowledge of what happened are no longer with the company and insists more stringent checks are now in place to prevent a repeat offence.