Andersen Changes its Focus

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The Big Five firm, Andersen, has announced its intent to tighten its focus to provide fewer services and target smaller regional markets. Andersen is the smallest of the Big Five firms, and has indicated it has no interest in merging with another firm to increase its market presence.

The change in strategy will result in Andersen focusing its efforts on areas and countries where it has the most expertise. Joe Berardino, chief executive of Andersen, explained the new approach this way: "We've tended to try to be all things to all people. But you can't compete effectively on size without merging. We are instead going to be the quickest."

Andersen combines accounting and consultancy services, and finds that the accountancy service is strengthened by the technological expertise present in the consultancy arm of the company. Two of the other Big Five Firms - KPMG and Ernst & Young - have split off their consultancy services into separate firms, and PricewaterhouseCoopers has announced plans to consider a similar split.

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