A fourth-order numerical method for the zero-Mach-number limit of the equations for compressible flow is presented. The method is formed by discretizing a new auxiliary variable formulation of the conservation equations, which is a variable density analog to the impulse or gauge formulation of the incompressible Euler equations. An auxiliary variable projection method is applied to this formulation, and accuracy is achieved by combining a fourth-order finite-volume spatial discretization with a fourth-order temporal scheme based on spectral deferred corrections. Numerical results are included which demonstrate fourth-order spatial and temporal accuracy for non-trivial flows in simple geometries. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.