FDs urge kids: Ignore Enron, take up finance

Despite the shadow cast over the accounting profession by the Enron scandal, an overwhelming majority of finance directors would encourage their children to follow their career path.

An emphatic 69% of more than 400 FDs questioned in this week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question, said they would encourage their children to become accountants.

And despite the reputation of the entire profession suffering as a result of Andersen’s admissions of ‘error’ in its audit of Enron, the result was unchanged since the question was last asked six months ago.

‘Now is not the time to be faint hearted!,’ said Autoglass FD Ian Ridley. ‘One would expect that the learning points from the Enron debacle will drive greater awareness from law makers and regulators, the net result of which will be an increase in professional standards.’

International Baccalaureate FD Stuart Chapman said the need for competent qualified accountants was now even greater. ‘This issue has been around for a long time if we are to believe that Socrates said “how are we to monitor those that monitor”,’ he added.

Most of the 13% of FDs who said they would not encourage their children to follow in their footsteps did not blame Enron.

As one anonymous FD put it: ‘I would never encourage my children to take up accountancy as a career. I hope they would turn out more exciting than that.’

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