Peterson, J. (2017), "Timeline: An Abbreviated History — The Origins of the Big Eight, and How They Shrank to Four", Count Down, Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 305-307. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78714-700-320172013
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Circa 3400 bc — Systems for inscribing accounting records on clay tablets are developed in Sumeria.
1458 — Benedetto Cotrugli composes his Libro de Larte dela Mercatura in Naples.
1494 — Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli publishes his Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità.
1844 — The Joint Stock Companies Act in England requires railway companies to appoint bookkeepers to keep and maintain their accounts, and to appoint “auditors” from among the shareholders.
1845 — William Welch Deloitte founds the firm that bears his name.
1849 — Samuel Price and Edwin Waterhouse form their London partnership. Frederick Whinney joins the London firm of Harding & Pullein, formed that year, renamed Whinney Smith & Whinney in 1894.
1850 — Mr. Deloitte joins the shareholder/auditors of the Great Western Railway in signing the report, “Audited and approved,” on the company’s half-yearly accounts for the period ended December 31, 1849.
1854 — William Cooper founds his London firm, to be joined by his brothers as Cooper Brothers & Co., 1861.
1867 — William Peat establishes his practice in London.
1886 — Charles Haskins begins his New York practice, partnering with Elijah Sells in 1895.
1887 — James Marwick opens in Glasgow, opens in New York in 1896 and partners with Roger Mitchell in 1897, merges with Peat in 1911.
1894 — Arthur Young opens an office in Chicago, joined by his brother Stanley to form Arthur Young & Company in 1906.
1898 — William Lybrand, Adam and Edward Ross and Robert Montgomery found their firm in Philadelphia.
1900 — George Touche and John Niven form their partnership in London.
1903 — Alwin and Theodore Ernst form their firm in Cleveland.
1913 — Arthur Andersen and Clarence Delaney form their partnership in Chicago, which becomes Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1918, re-branded as Andersen in 2001.
1924 — Ernst & Ernst allies with Whinney, Smith & Whinney.
1933–1934 — The Securities Act and the Securities Exchange Act are passed in the United States.
1952 — Deloitte, Plender, Griffiths & Co. in the United Kingdom merges with Haskins & Sells, globally adopting the name Deloitte Haskins & Sells in 1978.
1975 — Tohmatsu Aoki & Co, based in Japan, becomes part of the Touche Ross network.
1979 — Ernst & Ernst merges with Whinney.
1986 — Peat Marwick merges with Klynveld Main Goerdeler, forming KPMG.
1989 — The shrinkage of the Big Eight begins. Deloitte Haskins & Sells merges with Touch Ross in the United States and elsewhere. Ernst & Whinney merges with Arthur Young, re-branded as EY on July 1, 2013.
1998 — Price Waterhouse merges with Coopers & Lybrand, as PricewaterhouseCoopers, re-branded PwC in 2010.
2002 — Andersen is indicted in Houston on March 14; after trial, the jury’s guilty verdict is returned on June 15; Andersen surrenders its professional licenses and ceases to practice as of August 31.
- I Introduction — The Past — History and Context
- II The Present State of Big Audit
- III A Taxonomy of the Non-Solutions
- IV The Acts and Attitudes of the Players in Big Audit
- V The Uncertain Future of the Big Four
- Timeline: An Abbreviated History — The Origins of the Big Eight, and How They Shrank to Four
- Glossary — Abbreviations, Acronyms and Cast of Central Characters
- Note on Sources
- Thanks and Acknowledgments
- About the Author