New York (Jan. 5, 2004) -- The unfolding scandal at bankrupt Italian dairy giant Parmalat SpA is a blow to the profession's reputation, as well as to the reputation of the embattled firm's former auditor, the Italian arm of Grant Thornton International, some observers say.

"I think it will do tremendous damage to their reputation on worldwide basis," said Lynn Turner, former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, Turner said the damage to the firm's U.S. practice won't be dire. "They'll probably have a tough time picking up clients for the next two to three years, but I don’t think it will cause them to fold their tent like it did to Arthur Andersen, unless the U.S. firm was somehow involved in the audit, and I haven’t seen anything to that effect."

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