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In: Film and Music

Submitted By mroyale26
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Arthur Andersen (AA) had served as Enron’s outside auditor since 1985. Two years after the collapse of Enron, Arthur Andersen went from an international firm of 36,000 employees to nonexistence. In AA’s 16 years relationship with Enron, besides external auditing, AA also provided Enron internal auditing and consulting services. From 1997 to 2001, Enron overstated its profits by $568 million, 20 percent of Enron’s earnings for those four years. Andersen auditors helped Enron hide this earnings manipulation. On June 15, 2002, Andersen was convicted of obstruction of justice for shredding documents related to its audit of Enron. (Arthur Andersen v. United State, 2005)

Arthur Andersen contributed to the Enron scandal in four aspects. Firstly, facing the false financial condition, AA never disclosed it. Enron was one of AA’s major clients. In order to avoid the loss of this big client, AA helped Enron cheat on its financial statements. This action is not only unethical, but also illegal. To avoid losing this big client, AA determined to violate the standards. From the ethical aspect, AA should have stopped this fraud early. Instead, AA chose to act illegally to earn profits.

Secondly, AA provided Enron external auditing, internal auditing and consulting services at the same time, violating accounting and auditing standards because there are conflicts of interests among these services. “There was a fluid atmosphere of transfers back and forth between those working for AA doing Enron consulting or audit work and those working for Enron who went with Andersen” (Jennings, 2009, p. 354). This conflict of responsibilities of AA didn’t follow auditing standards and were illegal.

In addition to the conflict of responsibilities, the violation of independency also existed because there were close relationships and interest conflicts between AA’s employees and…...

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