Count Down: The Past, Present and Uncertain Future of the Big Four Accounting Firms Vol: 19

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Product Details
25 Nov 2015
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
256 pages - 152 x 229 x 18mm
Studies in the Development of Accounting Thought


The post-Enron disintegration of Arthur Andersen in 2002 reduced the number of international accounting firms that audit nearly all of the world's largest public companies to the surviving Big Four -- Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC. Despite market dominance, double-digit annual growth and annual global revenue above $120 billion in 2014 - the viability of the Big Four and their business model faces serious threats:- Widespread dissatisfaction with the standard form and language of their core product -- the traditional "pass-fail" auditor's report. - The persistent "expectations gap" between their perceived performance quality and the stated desires of information users.- And especially, the questionable ability of the Big Four and their partners to survive a "black swan" financial shock - a litigation judgment or law enforcement sanction on the scale that destroyed Arthur Andersen. Count Down looks at the complex challenges facing the Big Four, questions the feasibility and achievability of the various proffered "solutions", and proposes an evolved model for Big Audit that would be both sustainable for the large firms and fit to serve the capital markets of the 21st century.
Peterson draws on insight he gained during 16 years as a partner at the Arthur Anderson accounting firm to discuss the questionable value and the uncertain viability of what the calls The Big Audit—the business, regulatory, and legal model by which The Big Four surviving global accounting networks—Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC— deliver audit services to the world's largest companies and the global capital markets. The standard audit opinion is an outmoded product that nobody values, at a cost that nobody wants to pay, he contends, and its requirement by regulators inhibits evolution to an assurance of real usefulness and exposes the Big Four to litigation exposures that they cannot afford. Distributed in North America by Turpin Distribution.

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