Diebold Inc. had two major goals for 2008: forge ahead with deploying new technology and make amends with the Securities and Exchange Commission over its accounting practices.
For most of last year, "the single seminal event would have to do with the economic and financial crisis, and our ability to really weather that storm," said Thomas Swidarski, Diebold's president and chief executive. But "like a lot of companies, there were a lot of other issues going on." The North Canton, Ohio, automated teller machine maker's matters with the SEC are still not fully resolved, though it reached a settlement in May over its accounting issues. Diebold had stopped reporting earnings after the SEC began an investigation in 2007 into its practice of booking revenue for some sales before the products were shipped; it resumed reporting in September 2008 and has changed its accounting practices.