Hewlett-Packard’s financial results for 2012 are not exactly a cause for thanksgiving.

Poor Meg Whitman can’t catch a break. Remember that analyst briefing Hewlett-Packard held in October, where Whitman tried to air all of the company’s bad news at once? Well, it looks like she missed some. And there’s no telling where it stops.

Yesterday, HP announced that an internal investigation had found “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures” in the financial records of Autonomy, the unstructured “big data” analysis software firm acquired by HP last year, after being tipped off by “a senior member of Autonomy’s leadership team.” The disclosure came as HP took a non-cash accounting charge of $8.8 billion—over $5 billion of it related directly to Autonomy’s alleged book-cooking.

In other words, HP is saying that Autonomy, which it bought in August of 2011 for about $10.2 billion, is worth less than half that. And HP’s executives are pinning the blame on Autonomy’s founder and former CEO Mike Lynch (who was fired in May because of Autonomy’s plummeting revenue), other members of Autonomy’s management, and the accounting firm Deloitte—which performed the audit of Autonomy’s books before the merger.

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via Ars Technica » Technology Lab http://feeds.arstechnica.com/~r/arstechnica/technology-lab/~3/-rWLfjGL10g/