Oracle FD claims Andersen collapse was ‘unfair’

The full interview with Norman Green will appear online tomorrow

Speaking exclusively to Accountancy Age this week, the former Andersen UK finance director said that losing another firm to create a ‘Big Three’ would be intolerable.

‘I think it would be impossible to take out another big accounting firm unless there was another firm coming up from the next tier to step into its place,’ he said.

Green, who served with Andersen between 1983 and 1998, spoke of his despair at the collapse of the firm following the Enron and WorldCom scandals, and insisted that its break-up was too harsh a punishment for its part in both affairs.

‘Andersen did some wrong,’ said Green. ‘There should have been some penalties, definitely, but to take out a big accounting firm like that is actually counterproductive for the industry as a whole.’

Green also spoke about the importance of IT in creating transparency and simplification within businesses, however he warned that ‘IT will never stop fraud’.

‘It won’t stop fraud happening in the first place but it will help you identify it and then be able to do something about it quickly.’

Oracle subsidiary FDs and CEOs sign off accounts in a true and fair way, the same as US-based group CFO Jeff Henley and chief executive Larry Ellison do.

Oracle UK’s systems and processes are run by a central team, said Green, but ‘at the end of the day it’s my neck on the block if it’s wrong’.

Related reading