Boston (July 8, 2003) -- Despite predictions that the new accounting laws and other factors will prompt many firms to consider mergers, 68 percent of marketing directors and partners at 50 accounting firms said no merger activity is planned over the next year. But activity behind the scenes to grab business in the wake of the new accounting laws is brisk.

The survey, conducted at the Association for Accounting Marketing conference last month by marketing consultant Jean Caragher, also discovered that 48 percent of the firms surveyed still audit publicly held companies and that 39 percent plan to "proactively grow this niche" while none of the respondents said they plan to completely eliminate public company audits.

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