TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND INVESTMENT DECISION-MAKING: THE CASE OF ENRON AND ARTHUR ANDERSON
Keywords:accountability, decision, investment, reporting, transparency,
The paper explored the impact of transparency and accountability on investment decisions by financiers. This research adopts a qualitative case study design. The study utilised secondary data from published articles and online publications and data relating to the cases of Enron and Arthur Anderson. From the data considered, the study concludes that a lack of independence and transparency from auditors has a negative impact on investment and investors decisions. Similarly, the financial transparency and accountability of a firm are substantial determinants of investment decisions in recent years. Thus, investors’ decisions are linked to the perceived transparency and accountability in financial reporting and not to the assurance provided by an audit firm. It was found that the transparency, accountability, and auditor independence in financial reporting were compromised by Arthur Anderson's provision of dual professional services to Enron Corporation. The study recommends that accounting firms should minimise conflicts of interest, by avoiding the provision of dual professional services to customers, and prioritise auditor independence.