Globalization of Professional Accounting: The Big 8 Entering New Zealand
Business School, University of Exeter, Accounting Working Papers 06/06
23 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2008 Last revised: 15 Aug 2008
Date Written: February 27, 2007
The Big 4 accounting firms (previously Big 8, Big 6 and Big 5) have spread around the world and dominate the market for auditing services in most countries. Until relatively recently, this was not the case, and each country's accounting profession was led by local firms. The spread of these partnerships throughout the world is a phenomenon worthy of research, and we examine the spread of these firms to New Zealand. Previous literature on this and related issues is consistent in suggesting that such changes are driven by globalization of business generally; technology; and deregulation. Our evidence finds some support for globalization, and strong support for technology as a factor, but little support for deregulation. We also find that affiliation came at some cost to Big 8 partners in loss of autonomy, but was unavoidable if an audit firm was to remain significant.
Keywords: Globalization, accounting partnerships, human labour costs, Big 8, Big 4
JEL Classification: M40, M50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation