Andersen, the under-fire accountant, has made steps to distance itself from the infamous document shredding incident it was convicted of whilst carrying out an audit of Enron, the collapsed US energy giant.
The firm has agreed to pay $60 million to settle its legal issues with Enron, and to be released from any further blame for its part in the scandal. It is thought more payments to other firms will follow, as Andersen attempts to put the events of the recent past behind it, and restore some credibility to its tarnished name.
The once prestigious global empire is now highly fragmented, with many of the company’s business units already having been sold to rival firms. Arthur Andersen LLP, the US arm and the division behind the Enron involvement, is being closed down altogether.
The Enron scandal, and Andersen’s part in it, has caused the relationship that exists between auditors and clients to become increasingly scrutinized. The scandal has attracted widespread concern, and has led to a review of practices in the UK.
Andersen Worldwide is due to make the settlement payment, the terms of which
are due to be released in the near future.