Scrutinized Andersen to retool its ways

CHICAGO: Andersen will soon announce a series of reforms in the way

it does business, in an effort to rebuild confidence among investors and


The news comes as scrutiny of accounting practices increases, and

Andersen's own clients reconsider their relationships with the Big Five


"We expect there will be a change in law and regulations," said Charlie

Leonard, partner with Chlopak, Leonard, Schechter & Associates, one of

Andersen's PR teams. "Andersen will announce changes of its own that

will distinguish the firm in the marketplace."

Scrutiny of Andersen has extended to several of its clients, some of

whom are facing tough economic situations. Leonard said that Andersen

has mounted an intense effort to reassure clients, addressing issues in

personal visits.

Global Crossing, an Andersen client and telecoms company, filed for

bankruptcy last week, prompting a Wall Street Journal headline,

"Analysts Fault the Accounting at Global Crossing." The company's agency

of record since its IPO is Sitrick & Company.

Qwest Communications, announced its year-end results last week, and also

found itself answering questions about its retention of Andersen.

"They've done a good job," said chairman and CEO Joseph Nacchio in

answer to a reporter's question. "But there certainly is a pall about

Andersen. I think it is prudent for us to have that discussion with our

board and audit committee."

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