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answer these estionsThe Four have been sued thousands of times In 2016 PwC narrowly escaped an extinction level event from the TBW US Mortgage company KPMG was also almost brought down from its tax shelter business but the government decided not to indict because it feared it would destroy the firm and the Big Four would become the Big Three In fact regulators have suggested the Big Four prepare living wills borrowed from banking which set out contingency plans for winding p the business Advisory services are less risky which is why the Big Four have moved Into Them With Alacrity The Authors Point them with alacrity The authors point there s a weak correlation with advisory and corporate success what statisticians call spurious specificity and JK Galbraith called sophisticated ignorance I thoroughly enjoyed the history of the firm s early years in London Scotland and even Russia When it comes to the modern incarnation of the Four certainly regulatory capture theory applies which the authors touch on but not in great detail The authors even conclude that the audit failings during the financial crisis of 2007 09 were as bad as those of 2002 and Sarbanes Oxley Act has largely failed They talk about the expectations gap in audit which is real and growing the idea that auditors can t detect fraud or predict impending insolvency The auditor is a watchdog not a bloodhound Unfortunately the fraud or predict impending insolvency The auditor is a watchdog not a bloodhound Unfortunately the can t bark or is a lapdog Most frauds are not found by auditors I blame the professions for this gap for as the authors point out other professions medicine etc don t suffer from it the way auditors do If auditing is a trust engendering technology than what is the blockchain and how will that impact auditing They also discuss how most countries have limited auditor s liability creating a moral hazard the protected they are the risks they take Compromised independence is another issue and the authors don t offer much help here They do talk about offering financial statement insurance which could certainly be a substitute for the audit But how about having the stock exchanges select the auditors for its listed companies This is something the think tanks have been advocating for years and the accounting press ignores it It s not perfect but it s certainly better than what exists now After all how can you claim to be independent if you re paid by the very companies you are auditing We re paid to be independent A one size fits all audit monopoly also blocks out other ways of learning about corporate performance We need to abolish the monopoly that the accounting profession has on audit and open it p to competition The very imprimatur of a government sanctioned audit provides a false sense of security creating its own moral hazards for investors etc It s a shallow ritual of verification Breaking p the Big Four into Six or Eight also will not help as long the monopoly exists nor would aud. N Gow and award winning author Stuart Kells warn that a house of cards may be about to fallStretching back to the Medicis in Renaissance Florence this book is a fascinating story of wealth power and luck The founders of the Big Four lived surprisingly colorful lives Samuel Price for example married his own niece Between the world wars Nicholas Waterhouse collected postage stamps while also hosting decadent parties in his fashionable London homeAll four firms have endured major calamities in recent decades There have been hundreds of court cases and legal prosecutions for failed audits tax scandals It only firms or auditor rotation as in the EU or Heaven help s nationalization of the audit function though with SOX and PCAOB we are some ways down that road I also like the idea of corporations being given regulatory authority to experiment with new ways of presenting previously audited information insurance blockchain etc As the authors write If audits are a joke then the joke is on s all The chapters on tax I disagreed with Accountants have a long history of helping their clients avoid tax and there s nothing wrong with it and in fact can be blamed on countries imposing confiscatory LEVELS OF TAX ON ITS CITIZENS of tax on its citizens corporations Lower the rates and you automatically lower the tax games played The Big Four in China was interesting reading as well In the Twilight years section they talked about AI but not blockchain much They do believe innovation won t be driven by the Big Four and Amen to that which is why we need to abolish their monopoly and let a thousand competitors blossom The idea that the current auditing model is essential to capitalism is complete nonsense and the sooner we act on that the dynamism restore to our economy And the fact that the Big Four have to change their dynamism restore to our economy And the fact that the Big Four have to change their model is obvious and I have documented for years in my books The Firm of the Future and Implementing Value Pricing They are bad at pricing risk in fact they suck at pricing overall Overall an enjoyable book but not deep enough on true audit reform and emerging Cryptocosm technologies For that see George Gilder s Life After Google and books by CATO and Brookings on audit reform A simple yet very engaging read for those in the accounting field It gave me a holistic view of the profession as the book traces the history of accounting from the Medici Bank of the 1400s to the present day Big 4 as well as the challenges that lie ahead one being the disruption brought by technology It was ite interesting to see how the profession started in the lower rungs of society occupied by commoners without formal education For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde until the late 1800s whenalifying examinations were institutionalised and accountants received the prestige they enjoy at present The Big 4 had their inception by auditing the great railway companies and for over a century had focused their activities within audit However as what can be observed today the "Big 4 Have Also "4 have also into areas such as consulting and financial advisory and continue to diversify their services The authors opined that this could be Scary Stories 3 ultimately detrimental making comparisons with the rise and fall of the Medici Bank The discussion on auditing also caught my attention as they highlight the reasons why the Big 4 consistently fail the standards set by the government and find themselves in massive corporate scandals such as that of Enron and Worldcom We definitely need pages of this book as I felt that a 200 page account is not enough Could have been much bette. Nd breaches of independence The firms have come so close to extinction level events that regulators have reuired them to prepare living wills And today the Big Four face anncertain 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 transparencyThis account of the past present and likely future of the Big Four is essential reading for anyone perplexed or fascinated by professional services working or considering working in the industry or simply curious about the fate of the global econom.

Read & Download The Big Four The Curious Past and Perilous Future of the Global Accounting Monopoly

The Big Four The Curious Past and Perilous Future of the Global Accounting MonopolyI Say Accountants Drop Whatever They re Doing Pick Up This Book ReadNot Because Of The Uncertain Future Of Your Profession But Because Of It s History You Will Find To Be Extremely Interesting I Did The Cultural Expects Are Also Discussed I Disagree Will All The Other Reviews Of This BookThe Authors Did One Hell Of A Job Compiling This BookBest Book On The Subject Although I Would ve Liked To Find More Of The Pos Shallow and ninteresting A missed opportunity to write a good book I learned some things that I did not know about the early history of the big four accounting firms and their founders That part of the book was good but the rest of it was superficial For the part of the book dealing with the modern era I would have enjoyed anecdotes and insider stories about the people who make this business work and their interactions with their clients and regulators or I would have been interested in a technical description of what they actually do and how it sometimes goes wrong but this book provides neither Instead what we get is high level description that is lacking in personalities stories and color that is at The Approximate Level Of Sophistication approximate level of sophistication Time or Newsweek I can get this kind of information from the popular press so I don t need 300 page books for itThe analysis of the vulnerabilities of the current business structure at the end was very negative and ignores a lot of the strengths good work and evolutionary changes that characterize 99% of what these companies do and that have been in large part responsible for the success that they enjoy today I agree that technology is making huge changes in auditing and that we have not seen the end of those changes I agree that the current law and business structure of the big four are not well suited for dealing with liabilities arising from giant corporate scandals that will inevitably continue to happen I agree that large bureaucratic professional organizations have structural issues that promote mediocrity and less than the highest ethics but the same is true of all big business organizations and no one is predicting the end of multinational corporations But the big four are strong rich organizations with huge brand value and a lot of smart people Don t count them out yet A breezy read through the Big Four accounting firm s histories from their infancy starting with the Medici Bank as a precursor then to maturity difficulties of adulthood and finally the twilight years Is sound bookkeeping the foundation of success in statecraft and commerce Do the Big Four the so called Protectors of the public interest conscience of the free market High priests of capitalism etc measure p as trustworthy guides With Revenues surpassing 130B in 2016 and almost 1 million team members the Big Four is one of the world s top employers while PwC ranks alongside Disney Nike and Lego as one the ten most ranks alongside Disney Nike and Lego as one of the ten most brands the world But what. Messrs Gow and Kells have made an invaluable contribution writing in an amused tone that nevertheless acknowledges the firms' immense power and the seriousness of their neglect of traditional responsibilities 'The Big Four' will appeal to all those interested in the future of the profession and of capitalism itself Jane Gleeson White Wall Street JournalWith staffs that are collectively larger than the Russian army and combined revenues of over 130 billion a year the Big Four accounting firms Deloitte PricewaterhouseCoopers Ernst Young and KPMG are a keystone of global commerce But leading scholar Ia.

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