Facing up to a raft of negative publicity for the accounting profession in light of Big Five firm Andersen's association with failed energy giant Enron, members of all of the Big Five firms joined proverbial hands on Tuesday and vowed to uphold higher standards in the future.
"When businesses fail and public confidence wanes, all involved in the capital markets have a responsibility to actively seek to understand the core problems and pursue meaningful solutions," the chief executives of Andersen, KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young said in a joint statement.
The chief executives making the statement are Joseph F. Berardino of Andersen, Stephen G. Butler of KPMG, James E. Copeland of Deloitte & Touche, Samuel A. DiPiazza of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and James S. Turley of Ernst & Young.
The five accounting executives agreed they would all submit to the recommendations by the Securities and Exchange Commission that they should encourage their clients to provide better information about trading activities and risks, including those relating to energy markets. The executives will encourage clients to make this information known in their 2001 annual reports.
"Working together, our five firms are committing our attention and resources to evaluate and chart a course to address issues important to investors," the group said in the joint statement. "We are also committed to future action based on insights gained from current events."