Focussing on the dominance of the Big Four auditing firms – PwC, EY, Deloitte and KPMG – this concise volume provides an authoritative critical assessment of the state and future of the audit market, currently the subject of much debate and the focus of significant government enquiries. Drawing on extensive research and a vast collection of evidence from interviews with insiders, experts and users, it explores the key issues of audit quality, independence, choice and the growing expectation gap.

Just as disruptive technologies are overturning other established sectors, this book explores their impact on accounting, financial reporting and auditing. It questions whether the Big Four-dominated audit market is prepared not only for the inevitable disruption of new technologies, but also the challenges of negative public perceptions, cynicism about regulation and demands for greater transparency.

In the context of increasing high-profile corporate failures, this book provides a compelling scrutiny of the industry’s failings and present difficulties, and the impact of future disruption. At this crucial time, it will be of great interest to students, researchers and professionals in accounting and auditing, as well as policy makers and regulators.

chapter 1|12 pages

About this book

chapter 2|8 pages

The accounting and auditing profession

chapter 3|14 pages

The Big Four

Size and audit quality

chapter 4|14 pages

Disruption in external auditing

chapter 5|15 pages

Disputes in external auditing

chapter 6|13 pages

Audit disruption and new technology

chapter 7|17 pages

Disruptive audit structures

Splitting up the Big Four

chapter 8|10 pages

Disruptive audit structures

Further options

chapter 9|17 pages

Disruptive audit structures

Radical solutions

chapter 10|14 pages

Summary and conclusions