"While there is still a larger, more detailed history of these firms to be written, 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." - The Wall Street Journal
"Who would have ever thought that one would find a deep understanding of the issues facing today's Big Four in the rise and fall of the Medici bank? Gow and Kells provide a riveting analysis of the historical antecedents to today's Big Four structures and strategies and leave us totally unsettled in considering the industry's future. A unique approach of historical comparisons results in a must-read volume of an essential industry that is poorly understood. I could not put it down."
--Leonard A. Schlesinger, Baker Foundation Professor, Harvard Business School, and President Emeritus, Babson College
"The Big Four
offers a provocative lens to consider the evolution and role of the largest global accounting firms. This book can catalyze a needed discussion about what the accounting profession should deliver
, what it appears to currently deliver
, and how it should innovate moving forward."
--Alan D. Jagolinzer, Professor of Financial Accounting and Director, Centre for Financial Reporting & Accountability, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
"Major international accounting firms play a fundamental role in the governance of the world's largest public companies. The quality of financial statements is crucial for evaluating executives and valuing firms. The Big Four
delves into the origin of these firms and the role they play in businesses around the globe. As for many organizations, the future for accounting firms is uncertain. How will this profession adapt to its new environment? The Big Four
tells the reader what to expect. This is a must-read for executives and directors alike."
--David Larcker, James Irvin Miller Professor of Accounting, Stanford Graduate School of Business; Professor of Law (by courtesy), Stanford Law School; and Senior Faculty, Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Stanford University
"A fascinating book . . . I highly recommend it."
--Ticky Fullerton, Sky News Business
"Great fun. I enjoyed it."
--Phillip Adams, Late Night Live, Australian Broadcasting Corporation