Arthur Andersen continues recruitment of Y students

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    By Jason Gifford

    Despite controversial involvement with the Enron scandal, the Arthur Andersen accounting company will continue recruiting at BYU.

    BYU accounting majors are recruited heavily each year by Big 5 accounting firms.

    As one of the “Big 5,” Arthur Andersen competes with the other firms and will recruit a large number of students each year, said Ned Hill, dean of the Marriott School of Management.

    “Arthur Andersen is a major recruiter at BYU,” Hill said. “Along with the other firms in the Big 5, Andersen may take 50 to 100 students per year.”

    Arthur Andersen is now known for its involvement with Enron, a company that went bankrupt and is now under scrutiny by the government for faulty accounting practices.

    Andersen”s involvement in the scandal has forced it to do some damage control among its recruits, Hill said.

    “Their upper management had a conference call with us at BYU,” Hill said. “They are recruiting here as before.”

    The concern among accounting students at BYU doesn”t seem to be with Andersen as much as with the profession as a whole, said Cameron Keller, 23, a senior from Meridian, Idaho, majoring in accounting.

    “I”m more worried about the changes in the profession,” Keller said. “There will probably be more rules and regulations, with a lot more scrutiny than in the past.”

    Keller said things will be a little tougher, but that ethics will always play a major part in accounting.

    “Truth isn”t changed by circumstance,” he said. “The scandal caused all the Big 5 firms to double check their numbers to make sure they were correct.”

    Andersen has been involved with each of its recruits on a personal level to make sure all their questions are answered, said Jared Walker, 24, a senior from Meridian, Idaho, majoring in accounting.

    “They”ve sent out e-mails explaining the situation to their recruits,” Walker said. “They”ve told us to get in contact with them if we have any concerns or questions.”

    Walker said Andersen has been doing a great job making sure those questions are answered and the concerns are taken care of.

    Andersen is probably a riskier venture now than some of the other firms, but it could also present a great opportunity for students who stick with it, Hill said.

    “If Arthur Andersen survives, there will be a very bright upside for those who stay with the ship,” he said. “Crisis may bring opportunities, as positions open up at more senior levels as people jump to other firms.”

    The future of Arthur Andersen is uncertain at this point in time. The firm could lose some major accounts and have to pay heavy fines in the Enron case, Hill said.

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