Ace Hardware Discovers $154M Accounting Shortfall

Chicago, Ace Hardware Corp. discovered an approximate $154 million shortfall on its books while preparing to convert from retailer-owned cooperative to for-profit corporation, and likely will have to restate its financial results for the last five years, president and CEO Ray Griffith said Wednesday.

Ace has called off the conversion plan and hired an audit consulting firm to help rectify an accounting problem that appears to date to 2002, Griffith told The Associated Press. The company may have to forego returning profits to store owners this year as a result, he said.

“There is no missing money, there is no missing inventory, there is no evidence of theft,” Griffith said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “Obviously we’re upset, but we feel very confident that it’s a manageable situation and that our business is sound. We’re still a very viable business, our comp sales are doing well. This is an accounting issue.”

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