Playboy magazine announced this week that it's been fielding calls from Andersen employees who want to pose in the mag, inspired apparently by the success of the "Women of Enron" issue, which hit newsstands earlier this month.

And the San Diego Padres' AAA affiliate, the Portland, Ore. Beavers, are holding their "Arthur Andersen Appreciation Night," at the stadium tomorrow, complete with convenient "shredding locations" and a "Massive Debt Hide-and-Go Seek" game whose object is to find hidden stadium money certificates.

Are you groaning yet?

What used to be an honorable, upstanding profession has been reduced to ridicule and derision, and in the case of Playboy, will soon literally become the butt of countless jokes on newsstands around the nation.

It all started when whiskey purveyor Maker’s Mark slapped up a bunch of billboards around the country with the cleverly stinging tagline: "Disappears Faster than a Big Five Accounting Firm."

At the time, Andersen hadn’t even been indicted, but the presence of the billboards signaled that

  1. Enron had catapulted Andersen into the harsh glare of public ignominy; and
  2. It was open season on the profession.

At the time, the American Institute of CPAs worked some back channels to get the billboards yanked, but they probably don’t want to call more attention to the profession’s woes by publicly denouncing the Padres’ poor joke, or by pleading with nubile young women to keep their clothes on.By contrast, when a New York policewoman a number of years back posed half-naked in her uniform for Playboy, she was promptly fired from the force. Would-be Andersen bunnies probably aren’t worried about job security at the nearly bankrupt firm, but if they had any interest in salvaging what’s left of Andersen’s reputation – and the profession as a whole -- they’d keep their business suits on, and spend their time dialing employment agencies rather than Hugh Hefner.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access