Despite the considerable participation of Big 4 accounting firms in accounting standard setting, there is no systematic evidence on what factors shape Big 4 support or opposition toward proposed accounting standards or whether their lobbying positions materially influence standards. Using textual features of Big 4 comment letters on FASB proposals, I find that Big 4 firms' lobbying positions reflect profit motives through support for standards that will generate more fees or are supported by their clients. Big 4 lobbying support is concentrated in proposals exhibiting both characteristics, with some evidence suggesting client agreement dominates fee-generating incentives. Big 4 lobbying positions are significantly associated with standard setting outcomes, both in isolation and relative to other FASB constituents, including financial statement users. Although I primarily focus on Big 4 accounting firms, results indicate the tone of comment letters submitted by users is unassociated with the standard setting outcomes measured in this study.

Data Availability: All data are publicly available from the sources indicated.

JEL Classifications: M41; M42.

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