Tesco said the shortfall in its profits is due to the “accelerated recognition of commercial income and delayed accrual of costs”. In other words, Tesco has been paying suppliers later and taking monies from them earlier than it should. The size of the black hole suggests this practice was widespread.
That’s not what has been happening at all. Rather, Tesco has been saying, in its accounts, that it is paying suppliers later than it does and booking income earlier than it actually arrives. That’s what the “recognition” and “accrual” parts there mean. This isn’t about (from the very limited evidence in front of me) the dates upon which the cash moves. It’s about the dates upon which Tesco says the cash moves.