Arthur Andersen

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Arthur Andersen LLP, based in Chicago, was once one of the "Big Five" accounting firms among PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young and KPMG, providing auditing, tax, and consulting services to large corporations. In 2002, the firm voluntarily surrendered its licenses to practice as Certified Public Accountants in the United States after being found guilty of criminal charges relating to the firm's handling of the auditing of Enron, an energy corporation based in Texas which later failed. The other national accounting and consulting firms bought most of the practices of Arthur Andersen. The verdict was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. However, the damage to its reputation has prevented it from returning as a viable business, though it still nominally exists.

One of the few revenue-generating assets that the Andersen firm still has is Q Center, a conference and training facility outside of Chicago.[1]

The former consultancy arm of the firm, now known as Accenture, which had split from the accountancy side in 1987 and renamed themselves after splitting from Andersen Worldwide in 2000, continues to operate and has become one of the largest multinational corporations in the world.

Contents

History

Founding

Andersen was orphaned at the age of 16 at which point he began working as a mailboy by day and attended school at night, eventually being hired as the assistant to the controller of Allis-Chalmers in Chicago. At 23 he became the youngest CPA in Illinois.

The firm of Arthur Andersen was founded in 1913 by Arthur Andersen and Clarence DeLany as Andersen, DeLany & Co.[2] The firm changed its name to Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1918. Arthur Andersen's first client was the Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company of Milwaukee. In 1915, due to his many contacts there, the Milwaukee office was opened as the firm's second office. In 1917, after attending courses at night while working full time, he graduated from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in business.

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