European officials, concerned over the dearth of global audit firms, have compared the dwindling roster of larger practices and its implications to a pending explosion.

"Already we have a time bomb," said Dr. Alexander Schaub, director general of the European Commission's internal market division, in a recent keynote address to the European Accountants Federation, here. He noted that just 12 years ago, the global lineup consisted of the Big Eight. Then a series of consolidations resulted in the Big Five, which shortly became the Big Four in 2002 when Andersen imploded following the Enron scandal.

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access