Big Accounting 8 To Becoming Big Accounting Four

It is interesting to note that for most of the 20 th century, there were actually eight accountancy firm which exert international dominance namely:-

  1. Arthur Andersen
  2. Arthur Young & Company
  3. Coopers & Lybrand
  4. Ernst & Whinney (until 1979 Ernst & Ernst in the US and Whinney Murray in the UK)
  5. Deloitte Haskins & Sells (until 1978 Haskins & Sells in the US and Deloitte Plender Griffiths in the UK)
  6. Peat Marwick Mitchell, later Peat Marwick
  7. Price Waterhouse
  8. Touche Ross

Competition among these public accountancy firms intensified and the Big 8 became the Big 6 in 1989 when Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to form Ernst & Young in June, and Deloitte, Haskins & Sells merged with Touche Ross to form Deloitte & Touche in August.

The Big 6 became the Big 5 in July 1998 when Price Waterhouse merged with Coopers & Lybrand to form PricewaterhouseCoopers.

With the advent of Enron case and Arthur Andersen’s conviction which mean the end for Arthur . Most of its country practices around the world have being sold to members of what is now the Big Four, notably Ernst & Young globally and Deloitte & Touche in the UK.

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