read with interest the piece on Roman Weil and the Enron/Arthur
Andersen disgrace ("Investigations," April/02). I agree
with many of Weil's points, particularly the one about more backbone
being needed on the part of the auditors. Without backbone, honor,
and integrity on the part of our public accountants, new regulations
will solve nothing.
other factor must change if there is to be any hope in regaining
confidence in the public accounts. This factor, which has not
been reported in any of the articles I have been reading, is the
culture and value system in place at many, if not all, of the
public accounting firms. The malignant culture and bizarre values
lead directly to situations like Enron. The most significant disgrace
that can be faced by an audit partner at any public accounting
firm is not being stupid, doing poor work, or providing inadequate
leadership. It is losing an audit client and the annuity of audit
fees that go along with the audit. Many partners will dishonor
themselves and their profession to maintain the stream of audit
fees, which often go on for decades.
this sick value system is changed and audit partners begin facing
sanctions beyond a financial slap on the wrist for their substantial
contribution to this disgrace, nothing will change.
J. Kessler, MBA'65
Fountain Hills, Arizona