Analysis of the Enron/Arthur Anderson Scandal Essay

Analysis of the Enron/Arthur Anderson Scandal Essay

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Enron and Arthur Anderson were both giants in their own industry. Enron, a Texas based company in the energy trading business, was expanding rapidly in both domestic and global markets. Arthur Anderson, LLC. (Anderson), based out of Chicago, was well established as one of the big five accounting firms. But the means by which they achieved this status became questionable and eventually contributed to their demise. Enron used what if often referred to as “creative” accounting methods, this resulted in them posting record breaking earnings. Anderson, who earned substantial audit and consultation fees from Enron, failed to comply with the auditing standards required in their line of work. Investigations and reports have resulted in finger pointing and placing blame, but both companies contributed to one of the most notorious accounting scandals in history. There remains much speculation as to what steps could and should have been taken to protect innocent victims and numerous investors from experiencing the enormous loses that resulted from this scandal.
Accounting Practices at Enron
Unethical accounting practices involving Enron date back to 1987. Enron’s use of creative accounting involved moving profits from one period to another to manipulate earnings. Anderson, Enron’s auditor, investigated and reported these unusual transactions to Enron’s audit committee, but failed to discuss the illegality of the acts (Girioux, 2008). Enron decided the act was immaterial and Anderson went along with their decision. At this point, the auditor’s should have reevaluated their risk assessment of Enron’s internal controls in light of how this matter was handled and the risks Enron was willing to take The history of unethical accounting practic...

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...6). Enron and Arthur Andersen: The Case of the Crooked E and the Fallen A. Global Perspectives on Accounting Education: Vol. 3: Iss. 1, Article 3. Retrieved from:
Giroux, G. (Winter 2008). What went wrong? Accounting fraud and lessons from the recent scandals. Social Research, 75, 4. p.1205 (34). Retrieved June 16, 2011, from Academic OneFile via Gale:
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX), Pub. L. No. 107-204, 116 Stat. 745 (codified as amended in scattered sections of 15 U.S.C.)
Thomas, C.W. (April, 2002). The rise and fall of enron. When a company looks too good to be true, it usually is. Journal of Accountancy, Retrieved June 15, 2011, from

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