Accountancy body hopes to rebuild post-Enron confidence with PR

NEW YORK: The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants

(AICPA) has retained The Weiser Group in Chicago to help in its effort

to restore faith in the auditing and accounting system.

Enron's meltdown has had serious ramifications for its auditor Arthur

Andersen, which admitted to shredding documents related to the energy

trading company.

Part of Arthur Andersen's PR strategy has been to direct a discussion on

accounting practices across the industry. That point of view has

implications for the "Big 5" accounting firms, which include Deloitte &

Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

Arthur Andersen took out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal and

other papers last week, saying that it had fired the partner in charge

of the Enron account, and installed new leadership.

The AICPA calls itself "the organization that is leading the charge,"

and along with its member companies, has requested that the SEC come up

with different disclosure requirements to prevent another Enron-like

disaster from happening.

"Without a doubt, the Enron collapse has served as a wake-up call to the

industry," said Geoff Pickard, the AICPA's VP of communications. "We are

pledging all of our resources to doing whatever is necessary in

changing, modifying, or improving any of our rules and regulations that

will help restore the faith of the investing public," he continued.

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