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Big Six: Why Americans Can't Trust the Nation's Top Accounting Firms Paperback – April 15, 1992

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (April 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671758543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671758547
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,310,434 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This sequel to Stevens's previous work, The Big Eight ( LJ 10/1/81), chronicles the transformation of the major accounting firms from the staid, austere, audit-oriented firms of the past into the high-pressure marketing machines of the present. Increasing competition and skyrocketing costs have turned the accountant from a desk-bound number-cruncher into a marketing personality venturing into new areas of service to clients, e.g., consulting, where future planning is as important, if not more so, as the traditional accounting of past financial events. Citing examples of some of the large firms, Stevens reveals the intense competition between and within firms as they depart from the more traditional roles of accounting. This is a very insightful book for both the professional and lay reader, and as such, it is recommended for business collections.
- Kenneth J. Cook, Melbourne, Fla.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Mark Stevens is a best selling author, CEO of MSCO, a results-driven management and marketing firm, and a popular media commentator on a host of business matters including marketing, branding, management and sales. Mr. Stevens is known for delivering business insights with blunt truths and unconventional wisdom.

Stevens shook the marketing establishment with his Business Week best seller, "Your Marketing Sucks" (Random House/Crown Business), and redefined the rules of management with "Your Management Sucks" (Random House/Crown Business, 2006).

Stevens' latest book, Your Company Sucks: It's Time To Declare War On Yourself (to be published Aug 2, 2011)idetifies the four reasons companies fail or simply get stuck in neutral and how to identify and address them so the business can break through the ice to new levels of success. Stevens also demonstrates that "customer satisfaction" is no longer acceptable: winning companies must Thrill their customers/clients.

Stevens is the author of 24 business-related books including the best sellers: "The Big Eight"; "King Icahn"; "Sudden Death: The Rise and Fall of EF Hutton" (a Wall Street Journal bestseller and Library Journal "Business Book of the Year"); and the enormously popular "Your Marketing Sucks."

Stevens' firm, MSCO--founded in 1995-- has representsed a stellar roster of clients including Nike, Starwood, GE, Guardian Life, Intrawest, Estee Lauder, The MONY group, Environmental Systems Products, Saturday Evening Post , Virgin Atlantic, and many others.. Through integrated marketing campaigns, MSCO focuses on achieving results for its clients instead of awards that serve egos. Mark Stevens possesses an innovative and iconoclastic view of the business world, having served as a journalist and nationally syndicated columnist and having held management positions at several global corporations. His incisive understanding of critical business issues is geared toward achieving extraordinary growth and success for his clients.

Stevens is an in-demand speaker and a frequent guest commentator on Fox Business Channel and a wide range of media from Entrepreneur to Dow Jones.

Stevens writes the wildly successful blog, "Unconventional Thinking."

Books by Mark Stevens have been published in USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, China, Germany, Spain, Japan, Russia and Brazil.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Wow! Too bad this book is out of stock. When I was in college, many of my colleagues read this. I wished I had before joining a Big Six firm. The book provides insight into the cultures, the mergers of Big Six firms, and the dynamics that goes on. A must read for those in Big Six, those considering working for the Big Six (now Big Five, I think) and those working with them.
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Format: Paperback
Book published in 1991 and primarily covers the 1980s. The main emphases were twofold. The first involved the accounting "scandals" of the 1980s, primarily involving Savings and Loans institutions. Unfortunately, with respect to these the author decides to examine the issue more from a sensationalist perspective than an objective manner analyzing the underlying causes. The only real cause the author covers and that really only in a cursory method, is the increased competitive environment the firms had to operate in and how these lead to the need to placate clients at the expense or providing a quality audit. Although this is a cause of the scandals, and a major one, there were others that were also of importance. These included an increase in "realization" rates (i.e., value of bills to client relative to hours of work actually performed), more complicated financial transactions that the firms were really not equipped to opine on due to their complexity and the fact that most of billable hours were performed by BAs out of school. None of these are factors are really examined and hence the reader does not come away with a reasonable picture of what caused the so-called scandals.

The second topic the book covers, and one that it covers in a more in-depth manner, were the institutional changes occurring at the then Big 6. These changes primarily involved the conversion of firms providing primarily auditing services to firms primarily engaged in the provision of consulting services (i.e., IT, strategic planning, etc.) This trend was just starting to occur in the 1980s and really did not reach a full peak until the mid-1990s. Nevertheless, the trends were clearly visible towards that direction even at that time. Audit was just starting to become mere reconnaissance for consulting services.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Texasmade on April 7, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a really interesting book for those wishing to enter the big 4 accounting world even if it is a little bit outdated now.
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