Consolidation and Competition in Public Accounting

By Robert Bloom and David C. Schirm

JUNE 2005 - The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOA) charged the General Accounting Office (GAO, which changed its name to the Government Accountability Office in 2004) with examining the factors underlying audit mergers in the 1980s and 1990s, and the effects of such consolidation on competition, cost, quality, and independence in auditing, as well as on capital formation and the obstacles facing smaller audit firms in attempting to compete with the Big Four (Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers). The GAO released its report, “Public Accounting Firms: Mandated Study on Consolidation and Competition,”July 2003, on the first anniversary of the SOA.

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Publisher's Column

International Shipping Industry Benefits from Recent Tax Changes

Despite its continuing importance, the shipping industry has lost most of the prestige it held in this country. One reason is that although several U.S. shipping companies are publicly traded, the nation is less well represented in international shipping than in other, comparable global industries. Full Story

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