A recent Forbes article, “The Future Of The Accounting Industry In 2015” discusses predictions on how the accounting industry will evolve. Joseph Tarasco, president of Accountants Advisory Group, shares a number of insights, a few of which foresee a trend of mergers and acquisitions. Tarasco predicts:
- Accounting firms will continue to acquire consulting companies that complement their service portfolio
- “Consolidation of firms in the country will continue at a faster pace with the second tier firms…”
- “The firms who have grown through the consolidation of aging practices will begin to deal with intensified succession issues. This will fuel more mergers of mega-firms into larger firms.”
If these predictions are correct, then mergers and acquisitions will play an important part in the accounting industry for the years to come. According to the Journal of Accountancy, one thing to keep in mind is that accounting firms can face many issues during a merger or an acquisition, which is why it’s important to have a good understanding of potential hazards. Typical issues contributing to why some deals fail include introducing change too quickly or company culture differences as disparity between different organizational branches or offices can be a serious management challenge.
Assumption’s Chair of Business Studies Department and Associate Professor of Accounting, Jennifer Niece, has written and presented on a similar topic concerning the “one-Firm” concept in connection with Arthur Andersen LLP —formerly one of the largest accounting firms found guilty on criminal charges relating to its handling of auditing of Enron. The one-Firm concept for which Arthur Andersen was known emphasized a unified organization across the world providing consistent services to clients based on the same core principles.
In Professor Niece’s paper, “The Demise of Arthur Andersen’s One-Firm Concept: A Case Study in Corporate Governance,” she explores the “possibility that the firm’s departure from its established culture ultimately led to its demise.” Ultimately she concludes, “the failure of local offices to uphold centralized firm principles contributed to a lack of protection to the public good.”
Assumption College offers Accounting as both a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor. To earn a minor in accounting, students must take six accounting course and one management or marketing course.