Where was Satyam's auditor--and what will happen to Satyam's customers?
Today the founder and chairman of the Indian software company, Satyam Computer Services, admitted he lied about company profits to the tune of $1 billion. Chairman B. Ramalinga Raju resigned amidst news that the company, which employed more than 50,000 workers worldwide and handled computer systems and customer service (as well as financial accounting) for many companies, lied about its cash and bank balances. Its auditor, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, is now also under scrutiny. Some already are calling Satyam "India's Enron" and the situation could affect many of Satyam's clients, which the International Herald Tribune says include a third of the Fortune 500. Gartner analyst Fran Karamouzis weighed in on the news saying that other IT services companies could find themselves facing questions as to their financial stability, given the news about Satyam. Few news outlets are reporting much more beyond financial and stock market consequences at present, but the implications for CIOs whose companies are using Satyam's services bears looking into. We'll see what transpires in the coming days, but at the least, if you're looking for a mega-dose of irony, you can't beat this factoid: the company's name, Satyam, means "truth" in Sanskrit.