Accenture executives made a move this week to distance the consulting outfit from Arthur Andersen and its involvement with Enron, releasing a statement clarifying the company's relationship with the Big Five auditing firm.
"Some of the news coverage of the current situation facing Arthur Andersen and Enron contains misconceptions and inaccuracies about the historical relationship between Accenture and Arthur Andersen," reads the statement, which was released by the company early Tuesday. "Accenture is not and never has been engaged in the practice of public accounting. Accenture had no involvement in Arthur Andersen's audit services, including audit services to Enron."
The company says the statement is in response to media reports in the wake of Enron's collapse that have mistakenly identified its role.
Accenture, formerly known as Andersen Consulting, has been operating as an independent consulting unit since 1989, distinct from auditor Arthur Andersen. And in 2000, the company broke all contractual ties to Andersen, based on an arbitrator's decision in the International Chamber of Commerce proceedings started by Accenture three years earlier.
As part of the decision, the $11.4 billion, 75,000-person consulting outfit was forced to give up the Andersen name, leading to a new branding campaign in early 2001 as Accenture.