What is the Value of a 'Big 4' Audit?

Posted by Teresa Bockwoldt on November 23, 2011

Magnifying_GlassWe wanted to pose a question to our readers - aside from the perceived investor value added by selecting a Big 4 audit firm (PwC, KPMG, E&Y, or Deloitte), what other value does selecting these large audit firms add over a smaller firm?  

Granted, Big 4's have larger staff and thereby could provide assistance in obscure accounting areas where smaller firms may not but this assistance could be found when needed anyway. 

With the PCAOB's ongoing public bashing of these audit firms and the quality of their financial, IT, Sarbanes-Oxley, internal controls, and non-profit audits, we're left wondering what our readers see as additional added value considering the typical 'order of magnitude fee differences.'  Is it just the case that they have more market presence and thereby more press or something else?  

Francine Mckenna and Grumpy Old Accountants appear to believe you can do better than going with a Big 4.

Please share your thoughts.

Tags: Internal Controls, Sarbanes-Oxley Articles & Information, PCAOB News & Information, audit, audit costs