Chicago, IL - In a news conference earlier today, Arthur Andersen
Chairman Joseph Berardino announced a major shift in their business
strategy, turning away from their previous focus on corporate auditing
and consulting, and instead towards the "more lucrative" personal
income tax advisory role.
"Our vision is to go head to head with the likes of Merrill
Lynch and Charles Schwab," stated Joseph outside one of the
new Arthur Andersen mall offices. "Those firms may claim to
be able to provide the highest tax refunds for their clients. Personally,
I've taken a look at some of the advice they give, and I figure we
can guarantee double the returns for
anyone that walks through our doors."
Using Andersen's Enronomics model, Joseph explained how the
average household could expect a tax return of between $3,000 to
$4.5 million, depending on how often they traveled overseas in the
past year. "As an added bonus, our clients will be able to brag
about how they are now CEO's of several new businesses at their high
school reunions, in their Christmas newsletters, or during coffee
breaks at work. Beat that, Merrill Lynch!!!"
Clients so far seem ecstatic about the service they've received. "I
came in thinking that I owed the government several thousand dollars
because of capital gains, my complete lack of charitable write-offs,
and that I took no deductions from my wages. But Andersen took my
paperwork, applied their Enronomics to it, and suddenly the
IRS owes me $358,000! And I'm the owner of a business at that! I
wonder what kind of Internet company e-Wok is?"
Current tax advisory firms have expressed concerns over Arthur Andersen's
aggressive tactics, but have so far been unable to pinpoint exactly
what is wrong with the accounting strategies involved. "I don't
think you can write stuff off like that," said Merrill Lynch
branch manager Shaun Douglas from somewhere beneath stacks and stacks
of tax code, "but I'm having trouble finding where it's located
in the 4,257 pages of recent amendments. I'm sure
they won't be able to get away with it for very long before somebody AAAACK!!!" The
latter was the result of the collapse of the paperwork upon Shaun; rescue workers
expect to reach his body within the next week.
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