Meeting Their Professional Obligations? – A Comparison of the Professional Obligations of Enron’s Attorneys and Accountants

Ethics and Critical Thinking Journal, Vol. 2010, No. 3, pp. 35-62, 2010

35 Pages Posted: 12 May 2011 Last revised: 25 Jan 2018

See all articles by Eric Smith

Eric Smith

Weber State University (WSU)

Date Written: October 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper explores the actions of both Arthur Andersen and Vinson & Elkins as they related to the Enron fraud. Analysis is given to the inherent differences between the roles of accountants and lawyers in business transactions and consideration is given to the specific actions of the lawyers and accountants involved with Enron given their respective professional duties and obligations. The premise of this paper is that Vinson & Elkins and Arthur Andersen each played equally essential roles in the perpetuation of the fraud and that it was an inequitable result that Arthur Andersen met its demise while Vinson & Elkins survived relatively unscathed.

Keywords: ethics, professional obligations, Enron, Vinson & Elkins

JEL Classification: M14, M40, K42

Suggested Citation

Smith, Eric Steven, Meeting Their Professional Obligations? – A Comparison of the Professional Obligations of Enron’s Attorneys and Accountants (October 1, 2010). Ethics and Critical Thinking Journal, Vol. 2010, No. 3, pp. 35-62, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1837842

Eric Steven Smith (Contact Author)

Weber State University (WSU) ( email )

1337 Edvalson Dept 3803
Ogden, UT 84408
United States
(801) 626-6041 (Phone)

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