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Few companies have had quite as loud a wake-up call over lax financial controls as Computer Associates International Inc., the $3.5 billion management software producer. A massive accounting scandal involving fraudulent revenue recognition practices between

1998 and 2000 led to a settlement with federal prosecutors last year, including $225 million in shareholder restitution payments. During the last year, the Islandia, N.Y.-based company took another $40 million in restructuring charges, shed 5% of its workforce and restated nearly three years of financial results. When it came time to report on year one of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance in June, the bad news kept coming. Management identified two material weaknesses related to ineffective controls over accounting for software contract credits and at certain regional overseas operations.

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