Philadelphia (Sept. 5, 2003) -- Deloitte & Touche chief executive James H. Quigley told a top business school audience Thursday that "a flawed culture, value set or a series of bad decisions can cost an executive an entire firm," according to a Deloitte release on the speech.

Although Quigley never mentioned former Big Five rival Andersen by name in his speech to executives and educators at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Business School titled "Exploiting Uncertainty – Managing Through Flexibility," he made it clear that business leaders need to adhere to a strong set of values and communicate them to their staff – or else.

"At Deloitte, these principles include a commitment to serve the public interest, a passion for client service, and caring for and supporting our people."

"These principles should also include doing the right thing, even when it is not the popular or easy thing to do," he added.

Andersen, once the most profitable accounting firm in the country, failed last year following its conviction on obstruction of justice charges related to its auditing client Enron, whose accounting practices led to the one of the nation’s largest corporate failures.

The dual failures, along with a spate of accounting-related scandals, prompted Congress to pass the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the most sweeping reform of the accounting profession in decades.

-- WebCPA staff

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