Audits of Public Companies: Continued Concentration in Audit Market for Large Public Companies Does Not Call for Immediate Action

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A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO has prepared this report under the Comptroller General's authority as part of a continued effort to assist Congress in reviewing concentration in the market for public company audits. The small number of large international accounting firms performing audits of almost all large public companies raises interest in potential effects on competition and the choices available to large companies needing an auditor. This report examines (1) concentration in the market for public company audits, (2) the potential for smaller accounting firms' growth to ease market concentration, ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. January 9, 2008.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "GAO has prepared this report under the Comptroller General's authority as part of a continued effort to assist Congress in reviewing concentration in the market for public company audits. The small number of large international accounting firms performing audits of almost all large public companies raises interest in potential effects on competition and the choices available to large companies needing an auditor. This report examines (1) concentration in the market for public company audits, (2) the potential for smaller accounting firms' growth to ease market concentration, and (3) proposals that have been offered by others for easing concentration and the barriers facing smaller firms in expanding their market shares. GAO surveyed a random sample of almost 600 large, medium, and small public companies on their experiences with their auditors. GAO also interviewed the four largest accounting firms and surveyed all other U.S. accounting firms that audit at least one public company. GAO also developed an econometric model that analyzed the extent to which various factors, including concentration and new auditing requirements, affected fee levels. To supplement this work, GAO interviewed market participants, including public companies, investors, accounting firms, academics, and regulators. This report makes no recommendations."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • January 9, 2008

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Audits of Public Companies: Continued Concentration in Audit Market for Large Public Companies Does Not Call for Immediate Action, report, January 9, 2008; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc295880/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.