Fuji Xerox makes post-scan­dal pledge

The Southland Times - - BUSINESS - HAMISH MCNICOL

Top ex­ec­u­tives from Fuji Xerox in Ja­pan are in New Zealand to stress the com­pany’s com­mit­ment to the lo­cal mar­ket.

A broad list of coun­ter­mea­sures has also been de­tailed to lo­cal staff as the of­fice prod­ucts firm looks to re­bound from an ‘‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate ac­count­ing’’ scan­dal that caused losses of more than $350 mil­lion.

Last month, an 89-page in­de­pen­dent re­port de­tailed how an ac­count­ing firm had rea­son to sus­pect fraud had oc­curred at Fuji Xerox New Zealand (FXNZ) and said a for­mer man­ag­ing director was paid more than $1m to leave.

FXNZ has said the is­sues were his­tor­i­cal and wide-rang­ing changes had been made as it looked to re­gain trust.

The re­port was writ­ten af­ter par­ent com­pany Fu­ji­film Hold­ings or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into FXNZ in April to look at the ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of ac­count­ing prac­tices. It found in­ap­pro­pri­ate ac­count­ing had caused losses to share­holder eq­uity at the par­ent com­pany worth $230m in New Zealand, and $121m in Aus­tralia (FXA), af­ter rev­enue was over­stated by about $473m.

Three ex­ec­u­tives, as well as Fuji Xerox chair­man Tadahito Ya­mamoto, said they would re­sign, while many se­nior ex­ec­u­tives would take a pay cut.

Yes­ter­day, Fuji Xerox pres­i­dent and rep­re­sen­ta­tive director Hiroshi Kuri­hara met with staff in Auck­land.

He was there, along with the com­pany’s Asia-Pa­cific oper­a­tions pres­i­dent Isamu Sekine, Asia-Pa­cific oper­a­tions se­nior gen­eral man­ager mar­ket­ing Takayuki Togo, and lo­cal chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer Peter Thomas.

Kuri­hara wanted to reaf­firm the Ja­pan-based par­ent com­pany’s com­mit­ment to the New Zealand mar­ket.

‘‘I am con­fi­dent Fuji Xerox New Zealand is well po­si­tioned at the fore­front of the doc­u­ment man­age­ment in­dus­try and re­mains a val­ued part­ner to our many cus­tomers,’’ Kuri­hara said.

The in­de­pen­dent re­port from last month de­tails a cul­ture of sales at any cost, at­tempts to con­ceal in­ap­pro­pri­ate ac­count­ing, and sus­pi­cions of fraud.

The com­pany has said it took the find­ings very se­ri­ously and the man­age­ment struc­ture of Fuji Xerox had been ‘‘re­newed’’.

Yes­ter­day, Kuri­hara up­dated staff on the coun­ter­mea­sures the com­pany had taken since the in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tion was es­tab­lished by Fu­ji­film.

These in­cluded ap­pro­pri­ate ac­count­ing prac­tices for con­tracts that had caused the is­sues, a strength­en­ing of the finance and au­dit arms, strict new rules re­gard­ing per­for­mance eval­u­a­tion and in­cen­tive rules, as well as the re­or­gan­i­sa­tion of lease busi­ness units.

Com­pli­ance ed­u­ca­tion, strength­ened gov­er­nance and au­dit func­tions, in­de­pen­dence of au­dits, a stronger risk man­age­ment struc­ture, im­proved whistle­blower sys­tems, and bet­ter per­for­mance mea­sures had also been in­tro­duced.

Hiroshi Kuri­hara

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