Big Four

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Big Four

The four largest accounting firms in the United States: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. In addition to accounting, these firms all offer auditing and advisory services. The number of "big" accounting firms has decreased over time because of mergers and, most recently, the ruin of Arthur Andersen following the Enron scandal in 2002.
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Big Four

A widely used reference to the four largest public accounting firms that perform most of the external audits in the United States for large publicly owned corporations. The Big Four include PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Ernst & Young, and KPMG. The group was long known as the Big Eight until it was reduced by mergers; it was called the Big Five until the Enron scandal led to the collapse of Arthur Andersen.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.