Many local certified public accounting firms are members of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and respective state societies, thus giving them access to a tremendous amount of resources for technical training, research, and networking with other members. They may also be members of the Private Companies' Practice Section (PCPS) of the AICPA, which calls for peer review of quality control, among other things. Additionally, small firms whose members are well known in their communities via participation in civic and professional organizations usually have established banking connections and relationships with other solid professionals to whom they can refer their clients. Finally there is the most important attribute of being able to provide personal service to small businesses -- the big frogs in our little ponds.
The gist of your article in one respect seems incongruous with INC.'s objective of serving small businesses, since we local CPA firms are also small businesses. Phrases like "three-person shop" and "home accountants," particularly in an article in which the Big Eight are referred to as "first-class" and are said to lend credibility to financial statements, do little for our image.