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Timeline: 2002

JANUARY

  • Foundation’s Ethics Board announces plans to launch inquiry into auditor independence
  • Andersen clients begin to distance themselves from embattled auditor

FEBRUARY

  • Concerns grow over potential rises in professional indemnity insurance in wake of Enron
  • KPMG axes 150 jobs in tax
  • UK Andersen managing partner John Ormerod tells Accountancy Age: ‘We’re not shifty’
  • Microsoft reveals plans to launch software products for SMEs in UK

MARCH

  • Ormerod signals end of Big Five by announcing KPMG merger
  • E&Y enters talks to take on Andersen UK offices

APRIL

  • Andersen/KPMG global merger in ruins after rival firms pick up non-US Andersen offices
  • Deloitte & Touche announces plans to take over Andersen UK
  • Equitable Life says it will sue E&Y over its audit work

MAY

  • Insolvency practitioners come out in overwhelming support to get rid of ‘super creditor’ status of football players and managers
  • Foundation looks at radical change to auditor selection process

JUNE

  • European Commission gives full endorsement on adoption of international accounting rules
  • Andersen receives guilty verdict in US signalling end of Big Five
  • ICAEW proposes new rules to improve auditor independence
  • KPMG pension fund members face 20% shortfall because of multimillion pound hole
  • WorldCom restates 2001 accounts

JULY

  • Debt-ridden WorldCom files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
  • Audit fees rise in wake of Enron and WorldCom scandals

AUGUST

  • WorldCom CFO Scott Sullivan charged with fraud
  • Football’s debts mount as club directors begin to personally guarantee loans

SEPTEMBER

  • Head of City of London police fraud squad calls for government funding for new national fraud squad
  • Accountancy firms put on ‘high alert’ on anniversary of 11 September terror attacks

OCTOBER

  • DTI trade minister tells US to lay off UK audit firms and reform Sarbanes Oxley Act
  • Two more WorldCom execs plead guilty

NOVEMBER

  • John Ormerod voted Accountancy Age Personality of the Year
  • SEC chief Harvey Pitt resigns

DECEMBER

  • Big Four begins to lose work to mid-tier over fears of conflicts of interest
  • Industry told to shake up disciplinary and complaints proceedures.

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