Financial regulator investigates iSoft

The clouds are gathering over NHS software provider iSoft, as the FSA looks into possible accounting irregularities

The growing crisis at troubled UK software firm iSoft deepened on Thursday morning after the company revealed that it was being investigated by the UK's financial regulator.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) launched its investigation after auditors at Deloitte flagged up possible irregularities in iSoft's accounting practices earlier this month. In July, iSoft admitted that it was looking into problems with its accounting.

"The findings of the initial investigation were passed by the group [iSoft] to the FSA," said iSoft in a statement. "The group has now received notification from the FSA that they will be undertaking a formal investigation into the possible accounting irregularities."

The key issue appears to be whether iSoft recognised certain earnings in its accounts earlier that it is allowed to, under accounting law.

iSoft's share price initially fell by around 7 percent to 38p, but then recovered slightly to around 40p. The stock has fallen by about 90 percent this year.

News of the FSA investigation is just the latest problem to hit Manchester-based iSoft, whose software lies at the heart of the multi-billion pound NHS IT upgrade.

Earlier this week, a leaked report warned that there is "no believable plan" for the development of iSoft's Lorenzo clinical records software.

iSoft has still not filed its fiscal 2006 preliminary results, which were originally due on 11 July. The company also suspended a senior manager earlier this month.

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