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Auditor Changes in Canada: 2017

Auditor departures for public companies in Canada continue to decline, with 264 departures in 2017 compared with 284 in 2016 (2015: 318). Dismissals continue to comprise the bulk of auditor departures, with 231 (88%) dismissals and 33 (13%) resignations.

National firms take the top two spots for net engagement gains of public company audit clients, with the highest number of wins going to Dale Matheson. They secured this spot with 29 new engagements and six departures, for a net gain of 23 engagements and $500,00 in new audit fees. Dale Matheson is followed by Davidson LLP, who finished the year with a net gain of 12 new public company engagements and $600,000 in audit fees.

The table below presents a comprehensive view of the gains and losses or the Big Four and national firms in Canada during 2017. It shows how many SEDAR audit clients each auditor gained or lost, and also the auditor from or to which the client was won or lost.

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Unlike last year, a Big Four firm has ranked among the top four leaders of 2017, based on net engagements.PricewaterhouseCoopers finished the year with a net of seven new SEDAR engagements and racked up the second highest amount of new audit fees at 6.9 million. As noted by the Canadian Accountant, the largest by market capitalization was the Canadian subsidiary of Progressive Waste Solutions, rebranded in 2017 as Waste Connections of Canada.

More than half of MNP LLP’s new engagements came from Big Four firms, consisting of 13 of their 24 wins. On the other hand, PricewaterhouseCoopers received 13 of their wins from national and regional & local firms, and seven from other Big Four firms.

Leaders in terms of net audit fees gained are PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, and MNP.  MNP gained the highest amount of audit fees outside of the Big Four firms with 1.9 million in new fees.

Deloitte  gained a significant engagement in electric utility company Fortis, Inc., with 5.9 million in audit fees, landing the Big Four firm in top spot in terms of audit fees gained. With 6.9 million in new audit fees, PricewaterhouseCoopers emerged as the leader in terms of net audit fees with a positive net of 4.7 million, largely due to securing 3.3 million in audit fees from Waste Connections, Inc.

Audit Analytics tracks audit fees, auditor changes, controls, and restatements for Canadian issuers. For an online demonstration or to learn more about these data sets, can call us at (508) 476-7007 or e-mail


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