Botched software rollout blows £3.9m hole in London taxi maker's accounts

By Graeme Burton
15 Aug 2012 View Comments

Manganese Bronze, the maker of the iconic black London taxi cab, has reported a £3.9m hole in its accounts caused, it says, by a software fault in its accounting systems.

As a result, it has put back the release of its unaudited half-year results for the six months to the end of June from 20 August to 24 September "due to the need to restate prior years' financial results because of accounting errors that have come to light," it said in a statement.

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The share price of the almost-perennially troubled company fell by one-third in response.

According to the statement issued by the company, the accounting errors resulted from the August 2010 introduction of new accounting and supply-chain management software.

"Due to a combination of system and procedural errors, a number of transactions relating to 2010 and 2011 and some residual balances from the previous system were not properly processed through the new IT system," it stated.

It added: "This problem led to the over-statement of stock and under-statement of liabilities in the financial statements of previous years. The cumulative effect of these errors is an estimated £3.9m understatement of historical losses which go back over several years although the work to apportion the loss between previous years is not yet complete."

For a manufacturing company with just £2.8m left in its banking facilities, according to The Guardian newspaper, the news may cause further trouble with creditors. It does, however, have a tie-up with Chinese manufacturer Geely.

Manganese Bronze has so far declined to answer questions from Computing about the software, its implementation partners or even provide more explicit details on the nature of the "glitch". 

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