Facts about Professional Services
Accounting dates back to the very earliest days of human civilisation. The book Hisba, written in the 12th century by Ibn Taymiyyah, detailed systems of accounting that were practiced by Muslims in as early as the mid seventh century A.D.
Luca Pacioli wrote the first book on double entry accounting in 1494. He is frequently referred to as the father of accounting.
The legal profession was abolished in Prussia in 1780 and in France in 1789, though both countries eventually realized that their judicial systems could not function efficiently without lawyers.
The ‘Magic Circle’ is an informal term used to collectively describe what are generally regarded to be the five leading UK-headquartered law firms, and the four or five leading London-based commercial barristers' chambers.
The Big Four was once known as the ‘Big Eight’, and was reduced to the ‘Big Five’ by a series of mergers. The Big Five became the Big Four after the demise of Arthur Andersen in 2002, following its involvement in the Enron scandal.
In 2010 Deloitte with its 1.8% growth was able to beat PricewaterhouseCoopers with its 1.5% growth to gain first place and become the largest accounting firm in the industry. In 2011, PwC re-gained the first place with 10% revenue growth.
In 2011 the UK House of Lords completed an inquiry into the financial crisis, and called for an Office of Fair Trading investigation into the dominance of the Big Four. It is reported that the Big Four audit all but one of the companies that constitute the FTSE 100, and 240 of the companies in the FTSE 250.
In 1965, the United Kingdom began to update its legal system. Over two thousand obsolete, outdated and strange laws have been repealed since then, but plenty of funny laws are still on the books today including;
- Dying is illegal in the Houses of Parliament.
- Placing a postage stamp bearing the monarch’s head upside down on an envelope is considered as act of treason.
- All wild deer, swans and bears are the property of the royal family.