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From Grace to Disgrace: The Rise & Fall of Arthur Anderson



Publication Year



In June 2002, Arthur Anderson LLP became the first accounting firm in history to be criminally convicted. The repercussions were immense. From a position as one of the leading professional services firms in the world, with 85,000 staff in 84 countries and revenues in excess of $9 billion, Anderson effectively ceased to exist within a matter of months. Although Andersons conviction related specifically to a charge of obstructing justice, public attention focused on the audit relationship between Anderson and its major client, Enron Corporation, particularly the actions (and inactions) that had allowed Enron to post spectacular year-on-year earnings and profit growth. As well as examining events leading up to the demise of Anderson, the case provides an opportunity to consider the broader controversy over accounting and corporate governance practices and, more generally, the pressures found within organisations that can foster unethical conduct. The case was prepared from public sources.

Topic List

Accounting Ethics, Auditing, Conflicts of Interest, Narrtive Ethics, Ethical Decision Making, Corporate Governance, Auditor Role and Responsibilities



Publication Event Date


LBS Case Number

CS 04-002



Publication Organisation Size


Project Funder

EU Tender

Publication Research Centre

Institute of Finance and Accounting


Smith, N C

Available on ECCH


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