One of the great lines in the long-running TV series M*A*S*H came when the show’s main character, Hawkeye Pierce, explained how predictable the world was when he was growing up. As he told it, “Roosevelt was always president, Joe Louis was always heavyweight champ and Paul Muni played everybody.”With respects to Alfred Lord Tennyson, the old order changeth, whether in politics, sports or show business. You can also toss auditing into that discussion.

For years, the choice of auditing firms for smaller public filers was, for the most part, limited to the Big Four and the national firms just below them. That selection — or lack thereof — has fueled discussion and commentary within the profession, ranging from practitioners to professional associations all the way to our nation’s capital and the Government Accountability Office.

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