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Simon Caulkin: A consultant’s guide to mastery of the universe

Simon Caulkin: A consultant’s guide to mastery of the universe

by Rick Turoczy on August 21, 2006

When computer giant IBM settled the longstanding antitrust suit against it in 1956, a condition was that it should not offer advice about installing or running computers. That left the way clear for Andersen (later Accenture) and others. Most ironic of all, following the Enron collapse in which professional service firms were heavily implicated, 2002′s Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the most significant US governance legislation since the laws that brought consultancy into being, almost exactly replicated their effects.

As in the 1930s, Sarbox banned auditors from offering consultancy, but compelled boards to bring in outsiders to do stringent management checks. Hence, as McKenna notes, the paradoxical result was that having failed to prevent — some would say having actively contributed to — the corporate governance crisis, the consultancy elite has been put in charge of monitoring it. Nice work!

Simon Caulkin: A consultant’s guide to mastery of the universe

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