The Big Four, 1st Edition

  • Ian D. Gow
  • Stuart Kells
  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1523098031
  • ISBN-13: 9781523098033
  • DDC: 338.7
  • 272 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2018 | Published/Released December 2018
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2018

  • Price:  Sign in for price



Across the globe, the Big Four accounting and audit firms – Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG – are massively influential, earning more than $100 billion annually and employing almost a million people. In many profound ways, they have changed how we work, how we manage, how we invest and how we are governed. Stretching back centuries, their history is a fascinating story of wealth, power and luck. But today, the Big Four face an uncertain future – thanks to their push into China; their vulnerability to digital disruption and competition; and the hazards of providing traditional services in a new era of transparency. Surprisingly colorful and unquestionably authoritative, this account of the past, present and likely future of the Big Four is essential reading for anyone perplexed or fascinated by professional services, working in the industry, contemplating joining a professional services firm, or simply curious about the fate of the global economy.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Praise for the Big Four.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
Prelude: Science, Magic and the Prehistory of the Big Four.
1: Introduction.
2: Glory, Not Infamy: The Medici Bank as a Precursor to the Big Four.
3: Transported: How the Big Four Began in the Dangerous World of Nineteenth-Century Accountancy.
4: A Curious Match: The Remarkable Founders of the Big Four.
5: Mere Automata: Staking out the Big Four’s Turf.
6: An Injudicious Change: Adventures and Misadventures in Big Four Branding.
7: Porn Star: The Culture of the Big Four.
8: The Most Average Guys in the Room: Big Four Professional Values.
The Difficulties of Adulthood.
9: Unqualified: Auditing as the Foundation of the Big Four Brands.
10: Clean: The Impairment of Big Four Auditing.
11: Get Ready To Dance: Conflicting Interests in Big Four Taxation Services.
12: One Four Ten: The Big Four in China.
The Twilight Years.
13: Disrupted: The Obsolescence of Big Four Technology.
14: Conclusion.
About the Authors.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Berrett-Koehler Publishers.