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MS corrects $1bn "clerical error"

Microsoft said that it filed amendments with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to correct a "clerical error" of nearly $1bn in financial statements for 2001.

The company said that it mis-stated unearned revenue for the quarter ending 30 September and 31 December 2001, which had been reported as $1.1bn and $3.83bn respectively. These numbers were corrected to read $2.07bn (£1.5bn) in unearned revenue for September and $4.79bn (£3.4bn) for December, the company said.

Unearned revenue is a common financial term for money received for a product or service that has yet to be fulfilled. This revenue sits on the books as a liability until it has been earned.

Microsoft also amended its recognised unearned revenue for the two periods, claiming that the previously reported $914m loss cited in recognised unearned revenue for the quarter ended 30 September 2001 is now a loss of $1.88bn (£1.3bn) and the $2.87bn loss in recognised unearned revenue claimed for the last six months of 2001 has been corrected to a loss of $3.83bn (£2.7bn).

The company said that its net cash from operations and net change in cash and equivalents for the periods in question remain unaffected.

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