Exploring Corporate Governance Around the World

By Allison Garrett, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Christian University

Friday, April 14, 2006

Final Four: Too Few Audit Firms Left

When I started practicing law 20 years ago, there were the Big 8 audit firms. Now we're down to the "final 4." CFO.com is reporting on the fact that the Big 4 audit nearly all of the FTSE 350 companies here.

We're experiencing the same issues in the U.S. In particular, because of the limitations on the outside auditors' performance of non-audit services, U.S. companies that use one firm for tax planning or IT services have only a couple of choices. It takes a Big 4 firm to audit a large, multinational enterprise. This isn't the type of work that can be done by a small or even mid-tier firm.

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