ABSTRACT

A few months into 2002 and the broader implications of the collapse of Enron for the accountancy and professional service industries were becoming apparent. The role of Andersen, Enron’s auditors up until the time of the energy company’s bankruptcy, fostered a renewed debate about the conflicts of interest that could exist in the world of transnational commerce. Some companies, including Ford, ended their auditing contracts with Andersen while others, including Unilever, announced that they would no longer give consulting work to those firms they used as auditors. This was a response to the accusation that, as both an auditor of and a consultant to Enron, Andersen might have had a considerable financial interest in maintaining the façade of a viable energy company.