Barry E. Kohn

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Norton, Curtis L.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Accountancy


I believe this is a critical time in the history of the accounting profession in this country. A failure to come to grips with these problems will be the harbinger of a measure of regulation that can only stifle innovation, competition, opportunity, and professionalism. These harsh words are those of AICPA Public Oversight Board Chairman Arthur M. Wood. The problem referred to by Mr. Wood: the onslaught of public criticism directed at the public accounting profession as evidenced by the increasing number of law suits filed against public accounting firms in recent months. Hardly a week goes by without the report of a new suit involving huge sums of money, some in excess of $150 million, being filed against a public accounting firm with a charge of negligence. The sums involved are so large that as one critic recently noted, "It is no longer inconceivable that one or more firms could go broke directly as a result of one big mistake on an audit." In fact, at present, it is reported that the total amount of outstanding claims against the Big Eight firms exceeds $2 billion, approximately four times the estimated equity of the eight firms. Indeed, the litigation issue can no longer be considered simply an irritant, as it has in the past.


Includes bibliographical references.


19 pages, 4 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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