21 Facts About Arthur Andersen


Arthur Andersen was an American accounting firm based in Chicago that provided auditing, tax advising, consulting and other professional services to large corporations.

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Arthur Andersen believed education was the basis upon which the new profession of accounting should be developed.

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Arthur Andersen created the profession's first centralized training program and believed in training during normal working hours.

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Arthur Andersen was generous in his commitment to aiding educational, civic and charitable organizations.

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Arthur Andersen was chairman of the board of CPA examiners of Illinois.

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Arthur Andersen, who headed the firm until his death in 1947, was a zealous supporter of high standards in the accounting industry.

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For many years, Arthur Andersen's motto was "Think straight, talk straight"—an axiom passed on from his mother.

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Arthur Andersen refused in no uncertain terms, replying that there was "not enough money in the city of Chicago" to make him do it.

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Arthur Andersen led the way in a number of areas of accounting standards.

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Later, with the emergence of stock options as a form of compensation, Arthur Andersen was the first of the major accountancy firms to propose to the Financial Accounting Standards Board that employee stock options should be included on expense reports, thus impacting on net profit just as cash compensation would.

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Arthur Andersen struggled to balance the need to maintain its faithfulness to accounting standards with its clients' desire to maximize profits, particularly in the era of quarterly earnings reports.

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Arthur Andersen increased its use of accounting services as a springboard to sign up clients for Andersen Consulting's more lucrative business.

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Arthur Andersen Consulting saw a huge surge in profits during the decade.

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The executives on the Andersen Consulting side maintained breach of contract when Arthur Andersen created a second consulting group, AABC which competed directly with Andersen Consulting in the marketplace.

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The Powers Committee came to the following assessment: "The evidence available to us suggests that Arthur Andersen did not fulfill its professional responsibilities in connection with its audits of Enron's financial statements, or its obligation to bring to the attention of Enron's Board concerns about Enron's internal contracts over the related-party transactions".

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On June 15,2002, Arthur Andersen was convicted of obstruction of justice for shredding documents related to its audit of Enron, resulting in the Enron scandal.

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The damage to Arthur Andersen's reputation destroyed the firm's international practices.

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The court found that the instructions were worded in such a way that Arthur Andersen could have been convicted without any proof that the firm knew it had broken the law or that there had been a link to any official proceeding that prohibited the destruction of documents.

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However, CNN reported that by then, Arthur Andersen was "nearly defunct, " with about 200 employees remaining from a high of 28,000 in 2002.

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Indeed, Arthur Andersen has never returned as a viable business on even a limited scale.

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Arthur Andersen LLP operated the Q Center conference center in St Charles, Illinois, until day-to-day management was turned over to Dolce Hotels and Resorts in 2014, but Andersen retains ownership.

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