ATG Drops Andersen

Colin C.

Updated · Apr 02, 2002

The Enron fallout continues to cost Arthur Andersen customers.

The most recent defection is Art Technology Group . After two years, the Cambridge, Mass.,
e-commerce software maker has dismissed the auditing firm in favor of Big 5 competitor Ernst & Young.

The change, effective yesterday, the first day of the new fiscal quarter, was detailed in ATG’s most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Though ATG made no mention the Enron scandal by name, it is clearly trying to make a clean break from the auditing firm that has been indicted for allegedly
shredding financial documents. Andersen has pleaded innocent to the charges; a trial is scheduled to begin May 6.

In its SEC filing, ATG said it was confident that there are no problems with its past financial reports.

“Arthur Andersen’s reports on the company’s consolidated financial statements for each of the years ended 2001 and 2000 did not contain any adverse opinion or
disclaimer of opinion, nor were they qualified or modified as to uncertainty, audit scope or accounting principles,” ATG said in its filing.

ATG is one of several high-profile clients that have dropped Andersen rather than be tainted by scandal. Others include banking giant BB&T.

So far, none of the firm’s 28,000 U.S. employees have been laid off as a result of Enron, but company officials haven’t ruled out future cuts and the loss of local
clients can’t be good for Boston-based workers.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of Andersen employees will took to the streets of
Boston to try and salvage their firm’s reputation and urge the Justice Department to drop criminal charges.