The Rise and Fall of Arthur Andersen Essay

The Rise and Fall of Arthur Andersen Essay

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A month after the twin towers fell in New York City the nation's focus was shifted to the Enron scandal. Kenneth Lay and Jeffery Skilling were names in the press almost every day. Enron filed bankruptcy and thousands lost their jobs and pensions. Another company involved in the scandal was Arthur Andersen, an accounting firm; Enron was their client. Arthur Andersen continued to perform bad audits even after a warning from SEC. If Arthur Andersen employees had been ethical, after the warning, the Enron Scandal would not have had led to the conviction and dissolution of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm.
Arthur E. Andersen was born in a small town in Illinois and by the age of 16, he was an orphan. He was out in the world on his own. Luckily, his father’s employer was kind enough to allow Andersen to work in the mailroom at Fraser & Chalmers. He attended college courses at night while making his way from the mailroom to the assistant controller position. Andersen joined Price Waterhouse & Co and then took his Certified Public Accounting exam. He also was a professor at Northwestern University. He was very ambitious and according to Susan Squires who wrote Inside Arthur Andersen, “Arthur E. Andersen was an entrepreneur” (28).
People were moving to the cities and leaving their farms behind during the 1910’s. These people needed accountants. “On December 1, 1913, Andersen and Clarence M. DeLany opened a small accounting practice, Andersen, DeLany & Co. Arthur E. Andersen was only 28” (Squires 28). The accounting firm specialized in tax and offered consulting services. In 1915, another office opened in Milwaukee. By 1919, offices were from one end of the United States to another including Kansas City and Houston. ...

... middle of paper ... Arthur Andersen because of flaws in jury instructions. The instructions were too ambiguous to determine if obstruction of justice had happened. The overturned conviction was too late for Arthur Andersen. The firm lost it all when an email was sent. The unethical actions of Nancy Temple and David Duncan cost many their jobs. The ethical values of Arthur Andersen employees at the time should have been enforce, had this been done the conviction and dissolution of the firm would not have happened.

Works Cited

Glater, Jonathan. "Enron Trail Stirs Memory of Andersen." New York Times 21 Feb 2006, web.
McRoberts, Flynn. "The Fall of Andersen." Chicago Tribune 1 Sept 2002, web.
Sloan, Allan. "The Jury's In: Greed Isn't Good." Newsweek. 24 June 2002: 37-38.
Squires, Susan. Inside Arthur Andersen: shifting values, unexpected consequences. FT Press, 2003. Print

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