Auditing in Italy underwent significant development toward the middle of the 1950s (although the first audit firms, both national and international, appeared from 1910 through to the 1920s) due to the desire on the part of foreign audit firms to have offices in situ which could audit the Italian subsidiaries of large multinational groups. Nevertheless at that time full audits were barely known by local players in Italy and almost ignored by public opinion. The concept of financial auditing began to spread, albeit slowly, in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The profession, which had developed exclusively by supporting the activities of foreign groups, began to find clients directly in the domestic market, which was undergoing a phase of intense development. National firms, desiring to compete in international markets and becoming increasingly aware of the fact that these markets rewarded credibility and transparency in external communications, began to overcome their traditional reluctance to subject themselves to an audit of their financial statements.