What the Big 4 do

Posted on

I had dinner with, amongst others, a transfer pricing specialist from the Big 4 last night.

Over dinner he said “You know Richard, what you do would be so much better if you did not refer to tax avoidance".”

To which I replied along the lines of “Well, you would say that wouldn’t you? That’s what you sell”.

He had no problem with that. I explained I did. He challenged me about why that was so. I explained that in my opinion the Big 4 firms have two fundamental purposes in life when it comes to tax.

First they exist to undermine the tax revenues of governments.

Second they exist to redistribute the wealth of the world from those who are poorest in the communities in which they work to those who are the richest in the communities in which they work.

As a consequence it is reasonable to assume that they undermine democracy and work to increase the tensions in society. That I suggested was not a good basis for suggesting their perpetuation.

He was not amused, but rather then engage he just said “I won’t go there".”

Why not? Are Big 4 personnel incapable of defending themselves against arguments which rely on the undeniable evidence that tax avoidance does undermine the revenue of governments and that since the Big 4s clients are the wealthiest in the societies in which they work this benefit is not evenly distributed, hence my conclusions follow? 

Apparently so.

It’s time these guys learned to put up a case for what they do bar a pile of cash.