Relatively stable for decades, the accounting profession has undergone a recent transformation. This change, occurring in response to powerful surges in business worldwide, has been essential to the viability of the field. Recent growth in the industry has been propelled by new services supplementing traditional audit and tax functions. This expansion of services has been accompanied by several challenges, the most significant of which relate to firm consolidations. The “Big Five” public accounting firms: Andersen Worldwide, Deloitte & Touche, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers, are now also the top source of management consulting services, and have become some of the largest employers of attorneys. A recent attempt to sanction multi-disciplinary partnerships (“MDPs”) in the United States could change the structure of the industry.

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