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VALLEY FORUM: What Do Accountants Tell Their Clients?

VALLEY FORUM: What Do Accountants Tell Their Clients? Since the downfall of Andersen has captured the headlines, the accounting profession itself is under the microscope like never before. So, the San Fernando Valley Business Journal asks local accountants: What are your clients asking you about the Andersen controversy, and what are you telling them? Lawrence Ganzer Managing Partner Ganzer, Cagle & Polak Woodland Hills First of all, it doesn’t really concern our clients. We prepare financial statements to owners that are privately held, not public, companies. The incident doesn’t have any impact on us, but we might be affected by some of the rules that can change, creating stricter requirements. Greg Lippe Managing Partner Lever, Lippe, Hellie & Russell LLP Woodland Hills The clients haven’t expressed anything regarding this matter. From the standpoint of our investment clients, questions have risen on how to best evaluate investments we are advising them to consider. Our quality control is very strong and, because of our size, we don’t have the same exposure as Andersen. George Nadel Rivin, Partner Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. LLP North Hollywood We’re fortunate here that we don’t have the extent of a consulting relationship with the majority of clients that can create conflicts. We always have a good relationship with our clients. When an issue arises, we mutually work for a satisfactory resolution. Donald J. Miod Managing Partner Miod and Co. LLP Sherman Oaks The clients are concerned about the accounting profession and how it affects “me.” This is clearly a pop mark on the image of the profession, which has to be corrected. This will be good for the profession. I feel that Andersen will implode, lose clients left and right, and mass exodus of employees from the company will occur. I believe that the seniors and some management will go to smaller firms and attract clients. That, therefore, will elevate some of the medium-sized firms to larger firms to create competition. Ken Ray Partner Kirsch Kohn & Bridge CPA’s Encino We represent only closely held entities who are really operating in a different financial world than the clients of Andersen. We have received many comments from our clients and the community about the recent spotlight focused on our profession. They are understandably concerned about the reliability of the financial information that is available to them for making investment decisions. I’ve heard comments such as, “How can this have happened to Arthur Andersen?”

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