will big 4 auditors survive in a world of unlimited liability (NYT 9-10-04)

Will big 4 auditors survive in a world of unlimited liability (NYT 9-10-04)

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Business/Financial Desk; SECTC Will Big Four Audit Firms Survive in a World of Unlimited Liability? By FLOYD NORRIS 10 September 2004 The New York Times (c) 2004 New York Times Company ARE the Big Four accounting firms members of an endangered species, destined to die from litigation? Within the accounting profession there has been growing fear ever since Arthur Andersen vanished in a sea of liability that it was only a matter of time before another firm followed. And then, the thought goes, the others would find it impossible to persuade partners to stay, lest their net worth be decimated as happened at Andersen. Perhaps the situation is not unlike the one that confronts the major airlines. Never has there been such need and demand for the service they provide, but as commercial ventures their viability is dubious at best. The difference is that there are a host of low-cost airlines willing to take up the slack if Alitalia or United should vanish, while it is not at all clear who could replace the Big Four.
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