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Chicagophile
  > > e-Bulletin: 06/14/02


LETTERS
Public accountability


I 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.

One 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.

Until 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.

Fredric J. Kessler, MBA'65
Fountain Hills, Arizona


 

 

 


  JUNE 2002

  > > Volume 94, Number 5


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The End of Consulting?
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Campus of the Big Ideas
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You Go Girl!


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