ACCOUNTING: A Jury of Its Peers

Long regarded as an exacting and prestigious calling, the accounting profession has smarted in recent years under charges of sloppy or illegal practices that contributed to some of the biggest scandals in U.S. business history. As the world's largest accounting firm (annual revenues: $500 million), New York-based Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co. took a heavy share of the blame. To help restore its image, Peat, Marwick about six months ago took the unprecedented step of hiring a competitor —Arthur Young & Co., one of the smaller among accounting's Big Eight —to scrutinize...

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