PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen’s Enron fiasco exposed on BBC

Andersen's Enron fiasco exposed on BBC

An Andersen partner in charge of professional standards at the firm repeatedly warned about accounting procedures at Enron but was moved to other work, a BBC documentary will allege tonight.

The programme will claim that Carl Bass, a partner on the firm’s professional standards committee, sent a number of memos expressing concerns about the accounting treatment at Enron, but the warnings went unheeded.

Enron went bust early this year and Andersen in the US was found guilty on charges of obstruction of justice after shredding huge numbers of documents relating to audit work at the energy giant.

The BBC show, No Accounting for Greed, also has an interview with former US managing partner Richard Measelle (pictured above) who held his post between 1989 and 1997 and confesses some responsibility for the scandals that have destroyed his former firm.

‘To the extent that things happened on my watch, even if I wasn’t aware of them, even if I had no knowledge of them, that were not proper, I do bear a responsibility,’ he said.

The documentary charts Andersen’s involvement in scandals such as those at the Delorean Motor Company, the Waste Management company in Chicago and the now notorious Baptist Foundation of Arizona episode in which hundreds of people lost their savings.

No Accounting for Greed airs on BBC2 tonight, 9.50pm.

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