This is a historical account of first nine years of Arthur Andersen & Co.’s Public Review Board (PRB), from 1974 to 1983. This period coincides with the term of Chair Newton N. Minow. The paper draws on the published annual reports of both the firm and the PRB, as well as on interviews with principals from that period, including Minow. The PRB was a unique experiment, as the Andersen firm established it as an independent board composed of distinguished public servants who were to review the firm’s policies and make visits to the firm’s offices around the world, and then render annual reports on their assessment of the quality of the firm’s work in carrying out its professional practice, in auditing, tax, and administrative services. The paper concludes with a discussion of some lessons learned from the PRB experience for today’s debate over the independent oversight of audit firms.

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