PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen chief issues open letter

Andersen chief issues open letter

Joe Berardino, chief executive of beleaguered Andersen, has admitted in an unprecedented open letter that the firm is 'without question' facing 'the most difficult and challenging episode' in its history.

Berardino’s letter

contained in full-page adverts, has appeared in the American press, and told how the firm believed the ‘ultimate test of an organisation’s character and resilience’ was demonstrated in how it responds to adversity.

Andersen was the auditor of Enron the US energy giant that went bust with debts of $80bn.

The firm has since confessed to having shredded key documents and Berardino himself has stated before Congress committee that the firm made ‘errors in judgement’ while working on the Enron accounts.

In his letter Berardino shrugs off suggestions the firm could be financially ruined by damage resulting from the Enron debacle and other potentially ruinous claims, after confidently predicting that the firm would emerge ‘a better, stronger firm as a result of these events.’

He conludes hos letter saying: ‘At Andersen, we will be a better, stronger firm as a result of these events.We will continue to cooperate with Congress and the government agencies investigating these matters and we will continue to communicate about our actions in an open and forthright manner.’

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