Groupon disclosed a major accounting change on Friday, essentially halving its once-jaw-dropping revenue after it encountered resistance from regulators with its filing to go public. Groupon, the online coupon titan, announced separately that its chief operating officer of about five months, Margo Georgiadis, resigned and will return to her former employer, Google, as president of the Americas.
1. What was the accounting change mentioned? Was it a violation of GAAP?
2. What effect did it have on the financial statements?
3. What is the SEC quiet period mentioned in the article, how long is it, and what is its purpose?
Source: De La Merced, M.J. and E.M. Rusli (2011). Accounting Change Cuts Groupon’s Revenue. The New York Times – DealBook, September 23 (Retrievable online at http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2011/09/23/groupon-changes-its-revenue-accounting/)