O'Reilly logo

The Big Four by Stuart Kells, Ian D. Gow

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

5

MERE AUTOMATA

Staking out the Big Four’s turf

Accountancy megatrends

In one of his notorious purges, Henry Ford famously sacked his accountants en bloc. ‘They’re not productive,’ he said. ‘They don’t do any real work. I want them out of here today.’ That story cannot be the whole truth; Ford’s enterprise would’ve collapsed without in-house bookkeepers and financial controllers. But the anecdote helps illustrate a wider twentieth-century trend, that of large industrial companies electing to outsource their accounting services. Corporates that had maintained significant in-house accounting units – such as IBM and Unilever – would decide it was preferable to buy those services from the marketplace.

This trend, unsurprisingly, helped spur and transform ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required