New York (March 18, 2002) - Former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker said he would pursue accounting reforms regardless of whether Big Five firm Andersen survives the Enron fallout.

Volcker, who was appointed Feb. 3 to lead an oversight panel to initiate sweeping reforms at Andersen, told Bloomberg radio that his three-member oversight panel will remain intact, "so that we can keep our views on the reform of the profession alive."

Andersen, which served as auditor for Enron for more than 10 years, was indicted last week on obstruction of justice charges related to document shredding. It was also turned down by both Ernst & Young and Deloitte as possible merger partners.

Volcker, who demanded that Andersen split its auditing and consulting services, inferred that the remaining firms in the Big Five would rather see Andersen close down than adopt reform measures.

"Auditing is in danger of becoming the tail on the dog rather than the dog," Volcker said. "[Auditors] are the last line of defense to make sure financial reporting is accurate."

- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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