March 2002

Opting Out of the Enron Feeding-Frenzy

I'm trying hard to resist "piling on" in the current Enron feeding-frenzy of placing blame. Lou Grumet's column, "With No Regulatory Infrastructure, 'Who's Watching the Store?'" was excellent, and really nailed it. The facts are few at this time. When we fully know what happened at Enron and Andersen, that will be the time to take action. And that process shouldn't require months or years. The real challenge for the profession is to restore confidence, credibility, and trust in CPAs and their firms, and that's where I'm trying to focus my attention.

I'm saddened by what a small few have done to so many competent, diligent professionals. The jokes and cartoons may offer some comic relief, but I fear they may also become reflected in our public image, much as the green-eyeshade and bean-counter stereotypes have, despite the profession's desire to shed them.

David Costello President and CEO, National Association of State Boards of Accountancy


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