Audit Quality Control: Big Four Global Member Firms and Audit Services
thesisposted on 11.05.2016, 00:00 by Yiheng Guo
"Big Four" stands for PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, KPMG, and Ernst & Young, the largest four public accounting firms. They dominate the professional accounting services market and provide high-quality audit services. Each Big Four global member firm is independent and legally separated from each other. Local accounting firms simply borrow the name and reputation of the Big Four and become affiliate firms. This organizational structure leads to the variability of the audit quality in different regions, depending on the social, institutional, and cultural influences. Using Hofstede's six dimensions of national cultures and S. J. Gray's model of accounting system values, this paper examines the audit quality of the Big Four global member firms in China, Japan, and Eastern Europe. This paper also analyzes the benefits and disadvantages of Big Four localization and predicts how the Big Four will adjust to cultural influences while they strive to improve audit quality.