Profession’s Integrity at Stake

BY ROB BENSON

The Enron/Andersen situation has damaged the credibility of all CPAs. As more of the story unfolds, the profession is going to take a lot more hits. Our main asset is our credibility with the general public. Once we lose that, the value of our services, and the need for them, will decrease greatly.

The AICPA must understand the severity of the situation and take necessary action now before it is too late. It must expel or severely punish Arthur Andersen for the firm’s actions in the case. I know it is probably politically impossible for the AICPA to take any severe action against Andersen, but that’s exactly why the Institute and the profession are going to suffer.

The general public is well aware, and will become more aware, given the media attention to this case, that influence and politics control our profession more than ethics. Unless a great deal is done now, the integrity of our profession may never recover.

Rob Benson, CPA
Dowell, Maryland

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