One-in-ten audit clients have left Andersen

Data released by Atlanta-based Auditor-Track, revealed that client numbers at Andersen had shrunk from 2,300 to 2,052 with 62 clients deserting the firm in the last week alone.

Richard Ossoff, of Strafford Publications, which puts out the data service, said this further reduced the prospects of the firm surviving.

‘They have no realistic prospect of replacing the clients they have lost,’Ossoff said in the FT.

Major clients to desert the firm last week include train operator Stagecoach locally and computer giant Oracle in the US.

Meanwhile the New York Times online reported today that Andersen feared a federal probe, as early as August last year, four months before the collapse of the energy giant.

David Duncan, Andersen’s former auditor at its Houston office, told government investigators that an unofficial committee had been set up following criticism from Enron whistle-blower Sherron Watkins last year.

According to Duncan, this committee allegedly took the decision to destroy Enron-related documents, the offence for which the firm faces possible criminal prosecution.

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