Fuji Xerox global president comes to town, stresses NZ commitment after scandal

Fuji Xerox president and representative director Hiroshi Kurihara says the company is committed to ensuring there is no ...

Fuji Xerox president and representative director Hiroshi Kurihara says the company is committed to ensuring there is no repeat of the accounting irregularities.

Top executives from Fuji Xerox in Japan have come to New Zealand to stress the company's commitment to the local market.

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

Last month, an 89-page independent report into the company 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.

Fuji Xerox staff met with the company's top executives on Monday.

Fuji Xerox staff met with the company's top executives on Monday.

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

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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.

On Monday, 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.

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

"Fuji Xerox's commitment to the New Zealand market remains strong.

"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."

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

An accounting firm says in the report it had "reason to suspect fraud had occurred at FXNZ", into which it would conduct an investigation.

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

On Monday, 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 which 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.

"I'd like to re-emphasise that Fuji Xerox and our affiliates take the committee's findings very seriously and is absolutely committed to resolving past issues and ensuring that there is no recurrence," Kurihara said.

 - Stuff

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