Deloittes CEO hints at need for change

In a brief interview on CNN’s MoneyLine James Copeland, Deloitte’s CEO said: ‘The complexity of Enron and some other companies is getting to the point where its very difficult to understand, even for us experts. To make the complex simple is a real challenge.’

‘It’s time to quit trying to polish the hood and begin to clean the engine,’ Copeland added.

As for the ripple effect of Enron scandal on the reputation of the accountancy profession, Copeland bemoaned the fact that thousands of practising accountants and the thousands of audits that do not need restating ‘are tarred with the same brush’.

‘That’s a tragedy as well,’ he said.

Copeland also said that lawmakers should be very cautious about the kind of legislative changes that are proposed in the wake of the scandal. ‘We need to be careful and make careful decisions,’ he added.

In December Deloittes gave Andersen the thumbs following its ‘peer’ review of the firm.

Securities and Exchange Commission chief Harvey Pitt proposed last week that the practice of firm-on-firm reviews be scrapped.

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