Purpose. The purpose of the research is to define the size of the global audit market in 2020, define the revenue of the Big Four for 2014–2020 and predict the amount of income for 2021; to determine how the crisis caused by Covid-19 has affected on the activities of the Big Four companies; perform a SWOT analysis of the audit market in terms of Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC; identify trends in the field of audit in 2021, knowledge of which will allow the Big Four to maintain their market position.
Design/methodology/approach. The study examines the hypothesis of the effectiveness of global trends in the global audit market, with their possible implementation in the activities of the Big Four companies. The methodological basis of this study are general scientific, theoretical and special research methods that allow analyze all phenomena and processes in the field of auditing in interdependence. To solve the tasks in this study the following methods has been used: statistical and economic analysis, synthesis, logical generalization, comparison, forecasting, SWOT analysis, graphical and expert method.
Findings. The study examines the activities of the Big Four companies in the context of today’s challenges. The dynamics of changes in the revenues of the Big Four companies for 2015–2020 and forecasts the total income of the surveyed companies for 2021 have been showed at the study. The authors determined the share of revenues from auditing in the overall revenue structure of each of the companies and graphically presented the revenue structure of the Big Four companies for 2019–2020. The authors developed a SWOT-analysis, which describes the strengths and weaknesses of each of the companies, as well as opportunities and threats to the environment. The authors also summarized the main trends in the global audit market, which were formed as a result of the crisis caused by Covid-19.
Practical implications. The research could be used to adapt the experience of large companies in the recommendations for Ukrainian companies in the field of audit.
Originality/value. Considering current crisis situation around the world, the results of this study are valuable for international audit companies and for Ukrainian as well, as it shows the main trends in the field of auditing. As organizations experience difficult economic times due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, audit firms will need to prioritize their resources and demonstrate their value effectively in line with these new expectations in 2021. Covering automation and digital technologies such as research analytics, automated control testing, robotic process automation, and continuous risk assessment, auditing can forget about repetitive manual tasks and free up time for more value-added activities. As long as the Covid-19 pandemic continues, the changes caused by the pandemic will be felt for a long time. The experience of auditors in the field of risk management will continue to grow, as all companies will adapt to this new rule. However, despite budget cuts, new audit processes, and custom work, auditors will continue to be reliable business consultants and help companies thrive even in the face of growing threats and an uncertain future.
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