Author(s): Stuart Kells; Ian D. Gow
Across the globe, the so-called Big Four accounting and audit firms - Deloitte, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG - are massively influential. Together, they earn more than US$100 billion annually and employ almost one 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.
Both colourful and 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.
Stuart Kells is a Melbourne-based author. His history of Penguin Books, Penguin and the Lane Brothers, won the Ashurst Australian Business Literature Prize.
Ian D. Gow is a professor at the University of Melbourne and Director of the Melbourne Centre for Corporate Governance and Regulation. He previously taught at Harvard Business School.
Stuart Kells' book Penguin and the Lane Brothers won the 2015 Ashurst Australian Business Literature Prize. He was formerly Assistant Auditor-General of the state of Victoria, and a director at KPMG. He also worked at Deloitte, S.G. Warburg and PPB Advisory. He has a PhD in law from Monash University.Ian D. Gow is currently at Harvard Business School and will soon take up a professorship at the University of Melbourne. Before Harvard, he held positions at Morgan Stanley, General Motors, Stern Stewart & Co. and Andersen Consulting. He has a PhD in business from Stanford University, an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and degrees in commerce and law from UNSW.