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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Groupon names KPMG veteran its chief accounting officer

Groupon Inc. hired a veteran of accounting giant KPMG LLP as its chief accounting officer, the company said today.

Brian Stevens takes the job immediately and will report to Chief Financial Officer Jason Child, Chicago-based Groupon said. He spent 16 years with KPMG, working as an audit partner from audit partner from October 2007 through August, according to a news release.

Joe Del Preto will remain vice-president and global controller and report to Mr. Stevens, Groupon said.
Mr. Child recently told Crain's he was close to hiring a chief accounting officer.

Mr. Stevens is expected to beef up the accounting team at a company that has come under fire for weak bookkeeping. Just months after it went public, Groupon had to revise its first quarterly financials after underestimating the level of reserves required for refunds, which rose sharply amid an increase in high-ticket offers such as Lasik surgery. The company's auditors also warned that Groupon's financial controls had material weakness, starting a sharp decline in the stock that continues as confidence in management has waned.

The shares now trade at just over $4 per share, compared with its $20 IPO price.

Groupon faces a year-end deadline for auditors for sign off on its internal financial financial controls, as required by Sarbanes-Oxley.

KPMG was the firm Groupon hired to help get its financial controls up to par.
Mr. Stevens and his family will move to Chicago soon from Connecticut, according to a Groupon spokeswoman.

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