You mean accounting has a history? Yes, it does, and it should matter to you, because the accounting profession, and the audit function that it serves, affects all the companies in your 401(k) program. Remember WorldCom, remember Enron? Every time a large holding of yours writes off the goodwill from a failed acquisition--there are too many examples to recite here--you've just had an accounting moment. In The Big Four: The Curious Past and Perilous Future of the Global Accounting Monopoly
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018), Ian D. Gow
and Stuart Kells
describe the history of the auditing profession and how it has come to be concentrated in four global entities. They assess the current challenges the industry faces and where it could head to address those challenges. People in finance, business owners, and anyone with a 401(k) should find this book of interest.
Daniel Peris is Senior Vice President at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh. Trained as a historian of modern Russia, he is the author most recently of Getting Back to Business: Why Modern Portfolio Theory Fails Investors
. You can follow him on Twitter @Back2BizBook or at http://www.strategicdividendinvestor.com