May 29, 2004

Big Responsibilities

Published in FT May 29, 2004
Sir, The Big Four accounting firms became that big by marketing the value of their size. Now they want to have their cake and eat it too, asking to be sheltered from ruinous lawsuits. If accountability is to mean anything in accounting, we cannot afford to turn the concept of professional responsibility into a risk model of affordability.
Individual professionals and small firms lay their names on the line, day after day. If the Big Four cannot handle it, they had better let go. Then we might all be better off. At least the systemic risks will be smaller.