UK watchdog to probe Andersen
Embattled Big Five firm Andersen is to be investigated by the profession's watchdog for its role as former auditor of the beleaguered healthcare company SSL.
The news will add further dismay to Andersen’s partners who are struggling to restore confidence in the firm in the wake of the Enron debacle.
The probe by the Joint Disciplinary Scheme headed by executive counsel Chris Dickson was launched following a report from the ICAEW giving rise to public concern.
SSL reported in May 2001 that it stood to lose £50m after the discovery that it had sold its customers £63m of excess stock. Investigators from the Serious Fraud Office are currently looking into the company in conjunction with the Cheshire Constabulary.
Andersen qualified the audit report for the year to March 2001 over prior period adjustments arising from an overstatement, following an investigation into a £50m stock error.
KPMG now audits SSL after the company dropped Andersen in October 2001.