The failure of the Enron Corporation in late 2001, apart from signalling the largest corporate bankruptcy in the USA, has also thrown up a myriad of questions about the effectiveness of contemporary accounting, auditing and corporate governance practices. There are strong historical antecedents for distrust of the corporation, latterly represented in extreme form by the anti‐capitalists. The causes of the Enron failure and the immediate response in the USA are outlined. This is followed by the response in the UK among the accountancy bodies, and the results of a comprehensive survey to assess the impact of Enron. This then leads to a comprehensive series of lessons to be learnt in the form of recommendations under the headings of serving the public interest, accounting and financial reporting, auditing, corporate governance, and education.
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