The Big Four accounting firms are widely respected for their professionalism and their role in ensuring the independent credibility of financial reports. In the USA, to ensure high levels of auditor independence, government oversight agencies such as the SEC and the PCAOB have been entrusted with the task of monitoring the activities of accounting firms as well as those of their clients. However, large accounting firms are allowed to donate and lobby the authorities. This occurs at a national level, local level through offices, and on an individual basis. This has raised questions on the impact of political ties on the quality of audits and the maintenance of proper conduct. New research shows that given the risk to reputation and credibility, the Big Four are likely to maintain quality. However, political ties influence the level of independence an audit firm has.
ELEMES, A. et CHEN, J.Z. (2023). From lobby to the audit office: Big Four accounting firms and political links. Dans: Adrián Zicari, Tom Gamble eds. Responsible Finance and Accounting: Performance and Profit for Better Business, Society and Planet. 1st ed. Oxon & New York: Routledge.