Professor Dave Albrecht outlines the origins of public accounting and status today: Black Friday, Black Accounting, White Christmas.
Picture then: demand from customers (large companies) to providers (public accountants) for a value-added service (audit) the large companies wanted so they could differentiate from their competitors.
Fast forward 100 years.
Picture now: a self-protecting group of large firms that resist market needs and loud requests for change.
History and sad state of auditing covered in about 260 words, located in the middle part of the post.
Check it out.