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Forrester Dumps Andersen

Another high-profile technology company has replaced scandal-tarred Arthur Andersen as auditor.

Tuesday, it was e-commerce software maker Art Technology Group . Today, it's market analyst Forrester Research . Both companies are based in Cambridge, Mass.

"Although Andersen has provided excellent service in the past, we think this decision is in the best interest of the company and its shareholders," said Warren Hadley, Forrester's CFO.

Deloitte & Touche, which has a strong presence in the Bay State, has been named Forrester's auditor for fiscal 2002.

As with other companies making a switch, Forrester made no mention of the Enron debacle. Nevertheless, given that Andersen provided "excellent service" in the past it's clearly the impetus for the change.

The move underscores the difficult public relations problem Andersen will have to overcome if it is to survive.

Andersen has been indicted for allegedly shredding financial documents for its client, Houston energy concern Enron. Andersen has pleaded innocent to the charges; a trial is scheduled to begin May 6.

So far, none of the firm's 28,000 U.S. employees have been laid off as a result, but rumors of massive cuts are swirling and client losses such as ATG and Forrester, can't help, especially locally.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of Andersen employees took to the streets of Boston to try and salvage their firm's reputation and urge the Justice Department to drop criminal charges.