Profound changes in the accounting profession began in 1977 with the Bates decision, and were subsequently accelerated by technology, by regulation and, most profoundly, by the new competitive environment and the measures taken by accounting firms to compete with one another.At the same time, these factors dramatically altered the nature of the clients served by accounting firms. How does a contemporary accounting firm function in this new environment? And what do today's clients really want?

Of all the overwhelming forces that have changed the accounting profession, particularly since the 1977 Bates decision (Bates v. State Bar of Arizona) - which struck down the Canons of Ethics that prohibited lawyers from advertising - none has been more significant than the rapidly evolving nature of the client now served by the profession.

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