Skip to main content


When we published our Book of Accounting Blunders last week we didn’t think we’d have such a short wait for a new accounting blunder to come along, and Tesco’s ‘accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs’ is a big one.

According to Dave Lewis, Group CEO, “We have uncovered a serious issue and have responded accordingly.  The Chairman and I have acted quickly to establish a comprehensive independent investigation.  The Board, my colleagues, our customers and I expect Tesco to operate with integrity and transparency and we will take decisive action as the results of the investigation become clear.”

The £250 million overstatement of profits is startling as it represents roughly a quarter of Tesco’s UK profits which in turn means that the ‘accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs’ or deducting monies from suppliers’ trading accounts or extending payment dates without notice was not isolated but widespread across the UK.

Lewis has suspended four senior members while Deloitte and law firm Freshfields have begun a detailed investigation. The full extent of what Tesco UK got up to with its suppliers is not clear but there are reports that it was not illegal, just typical buyer-supplier shenanigans.

That being said, the City of London financial community has taken a different view and Tesco stock is down 10pc and 40pc year-to-date.

The magnitude of this accounting blunder will become clear on October 23 as Tesco has delayed the publication of its interim results until then.

Check out our Book of Accounting Blunders here.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.