Screw-around accounting rears its ugly head once again.

This time, Adecco S.A. (Symbol: ADO), one of the largest temporary/employer services firm in the world.

New York Times coverage

Locally, this firm used to be known as “Accountants on Call”. I think they may also have been “LegalConnect”? (temporary lawyers — aren’t all lawyers temporary?)

Now the question is, in this new, 21st century accounting regime: Does saying we have internal control problems equal an Enron, Worldcom or Parmalat?

The unfortunate fact is that many of the big blowups of the last couple of years started with the formal announcement of a “situation”, only to become full-scale disasters on later investigation.

On the other hand, several other announcements of some accounting irregularities (“control” in the jargon) have bid stocks to a fire sale price. When it all settles out, the problem gets worked out, and the stock returns to some upward course. COF, PVN, PNC come to mind.

I wonder which kind this is . . .