Rollins To Pay $8 Mln To Settle Accounting Violations

(RTTNews) – Atlanta-based pest control company Rollins Inc. (ROL) agreed to pay $8 million to settle charges that it engaged in improper accounting practices in order to boost its quarterly earnings per share to meet research analysts’ consensus estimates, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement.

The SEC’s order found that, in the first quarter of 2016 and the second quarter of 2017, Rollins made unsupported reductions to their accounting reserves in amounts sufficient to allow the company to round up reported earnings per share to the next penny.

According to the order, the company’s then chief financial officer, Paul Edward Northen, directed the improper accounting adjustments without conducting an analysis of the appropriate accounting criteria under generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) and without adequately memorializing the basis for those accounting entries.

The order also found that Rollins made other accounting entries that were not supported by adequate documentation in multiple additional quarters from 2016 through 2018.

Paul will pay $100,000 for his role in the accounting violations. Neither the company nor the former chief financial officer admitted wrongdoing.

The individuals who were leading the accounting department at the time are no longer employed by the company and there will be no restatement of the company’s historical financial results related to the SEC’s investigation, Rollins said.