Along with ex-Enron auditor David Duncan, who refused to testify, four Andersen officials were yesterday hauled before the House Oversight and Investigations subcommittee.
In response to a heavy barrage of questions Andersen’s global managing partner CE Andrews repeated statements that basically shove all the blame for document shredding towards Duncan.
The firm’s legal counsel Nancy Temple insisted she did not know about the shredding of the documents but her answers to many tough questions were preceded by a less than inspiring: ‘I do not recall’.
During the four hour hearing Republican Representative Billy Tauzin asked why nobody reminded Duncan to preserve documents before November 10.
Andrews answered: ‘The policy is that the responsibility is with the engagement partner. (..) We are revising that policy.’
An outraged Tauzin issued a warning to the Andersen employees in the room and to all accountancy firms saying: ‘everybody better listen to this.’
He went on to say that ‘if all policies say the accountant is responsible [for document destruction and retention decisions] and not the legal department’ there will be trouble.
‘I’m not defending the policy,’ Andrews insisted.
At press time other Big Five accountancy firms had not responded to our questions about how their policies compare to Andersen’s.
At a hearing in the Senate yesterday former SEC chief Arthur Levitt called for rules preventing the purchase of audit and consultancy services from the same firm.
The second largest improvement in ‘significant’ levels of financial distress since the EU Referendum was in professional services, found research from Begbies Traynor
Two new audit partners have been appointed at the firm BDO in its audit practice following continued growth and investment
Investment in people, tech and businesses impacts on EY's profit per partner figure
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned