Swisher fires accounting firm BDO USA

Swisher Hygiene company truck.
Swisher Hygiene company truck.

Charlotte-based Swisher Hygiene has dismissed its accounting firm, saying it doesn’t agree with the firm’s assessment that Swisher might not be able to continue as a going concern, a term that refers to the company’s ability to stay afloat.

Swisher, which provides sanitizing services and cleaning chemicals, said its management had “several disagreements and discussions” with BDO USA about completing the audit and filing the company’s 2014 annual report, according to a securities filing Thursday.

The company said its own assessment of its finances found that “no material weaknesses and one significant deficiency” existed as of December 31, 2014, while BDO’s audit concluded that 12 material weaknesses and five significant deficiencies were present.

Swisher said a review of its bad debt write-offs and recorded bad debt reserve, as well as its process to account for its dish machine assets, had resulted in adjustments to the financial statements initially presented to BDO.

BDO therefore had expressed doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern, while Swisher’s analysis found that “no going concern issues were present.”

In the filing, Swisher said it has hired Grant Thornton as its new accounting firm for the year ending December 31, 2015.

In its annual report released last month, Swisher said recurring losses raise doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern and that it may have to take actions that include selling assets, raising additional capital and taking on more debt.

Swisher had delayed the 2014 financial results by just over two weeks, saying it needed more time complete the audit of its financial statements to assess its effectiveness of its own control over financial reporting.

The company has had issues in the past with its accounting practices and has even been sued by shareholders who said the company inflated its share price with misleading financial results.

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