Big Four Accountants: Where 4 Art Thou?
This paper considers the role of the Big 4 firms of accountants - PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), Deloitte, Ernst & Young (E&Y) and KPMG – in the creation of the offshore secrecy space.
Part 1 shows that secrecy jurisdictions deliberately create opacity in financial data, and multinationals exploit this to create opacity in their financial reporting.
Part 2 develops the concept of the ‘secrecy space’ which combines the opacity of secrecy jurisdictions with the opacity found inside group consolidated accounts of multinational corporations.
In Part 3 the role of the Big 4 firms of accountants in this process is questioned.
It concludes that over many years a tangled and connected web has developed linking the opacity of secrecy jurisdictions, transfer mispricing and other commercial tax abuse by multinationals, the existence of the Big 4 as auditors of those corporations.
A useful addition to the literature.