The existence of just five large CPA firms that service virtually all of the major industrial and financial companies and thus dominate the accounting profession has led to criticism through the years.
1. What dangers do you see from the dominance of a few large CPA firms? What advantages?
2. During the 1980s and 1990s, mergers among the large public accounting firms reduced the Big 8 to the Big 5. The death of Arthur Andersen (because of the Enron scandal) reduced the number to four. One reason offered for the mergers was that they improved the ability of the merging firms to provide the broad array of consulting services that provided an increasing share of the revenues of the large accounting firms.
What problems have intensified as public accounting firms have earned an ever-larger share of their income from consulting?