Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Andersen (Arthur) & Co.
Andersen (Arthur) & Co.

Andersen (Arthur) & Co.

This pioneering accounting services firm was founded in Chicago in 1913 by a young Northwestern University professor, Arthur Andersen, and a partner named Clarence DeLany. The firm started with two partners and six employees, who offered customers help with new federal income taxes and other accounting problems. During the 1920s, Andersen opened six new offices across the country, and annual billings rose to $2 million. The firm weathered the Great Depression and continued to expand after the founder's death in 1947. Between 1947 and 1973, Andersen's client base rose from 2,300 to 50,000, and the Chicago office increased from about 250 to more than 1,500 employees. Expansion continued during the late twentieth century, as the company became increasingly international and created a fast-growing management consulting division. In 1989, Arthur Andersen and Andersen Consulting became separate units, which were controlled by Arthur Andersen & Co., S.C.; this multibillion-dollar parent company soon became known as Andersen Worldwide. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Andersen Consulting changed its name to Accenture Ltd.; and Arthur Andersen became simply Andersen. At that time, the consulting and accounting groups together employed nearly 8,500 Chicago-area residents. In the wake of the Enron scandal and the firm's indictment for obstruction of justice in 2002, Andersen ceased auditing clients in 2002 and began selling its overseas assets to other firms.