Plante & Moran, with a net of 34 new SEC audit clients, accounts for the largest number of new clients among all audit firms in 2018. A merger with EKS&H in Q4 2018 brought on 31 of Plante & Moran’s 35 new clients. As mentioned in Accounting Today, mergers and acquisitions in 2018 had a major impact on the amount of new audit clients that firms were able to bring on.
Marcum, with a net of 31 new SEC audit clients, accounts for the largest number of new clients among the major global and national firms. Marcum’s 52 new engagements in 2018 was the most for any audit firm. Marcum merged with GBH CPAs in Q3 2018, accounting for 28 of Marcum’s new engagements.
Deloitte led the Big 4 with a net of 28 new SEC audit clients, with 37 engagements and 9 departures throughout 2018.
Overall, there were 209 engagements and 186 departures during 2018 among the Big Four and major global and national firms.
The table below presents a comprehensive view of the gains and losses of the major global and national firms. It shows how many SEC audit clients each auditor gained or lost, and also the auditor from or to which the client was won or lost.
Ernst & Young and Deloitte ranked first and second in net audit fees won, bringing in $26.27 million and $15.11 million, respectively. Plante & Moran’s net of 34 new audit clients landed them in the third spot for most audit fees won, with $9.14 million.
In the following tables, we disaggregate the auditor changes by the size of the companies won or lost, as represented by the companies’ filing status. The first table shows auditor changes for Large Accelerated Filers, i.e., those with a worldwide public float of more than $700 million.
Deloitte was the top firm for Large Accelerated Filers wins in 2018, for the second year in a row, with seven new SEC audit clients. Crowe and Grant Thornton netted three and two new Large Accelerated Filers, respectively, in 2018.
The next table presents a sample of the largest wins and losses for Accelerated Filers, which are companies with public float between $75 million and $700 million.
Deloitte also lead the way among Accelerated Filers wins with 14 new SEC audit clients and three departures, for a net of 11 new SEC audit clients in 2018.
In total for 2018, there were 99 wins among Accelerated Filers.
The last table presents a sample of the largest wins and losses for Smaller Reporting Companies.
Marcum, with a net of 27 new SEC audit clients was the top firm among Smaller Reporting Companies.
Prager Metis CPAs was not far behind for Smaller Reporting Companies, with a net of 24 new SEC clients. Prager Metis CPAs merged with Paritz & Company in Q4 2018, accounting for 25 of its 27 total new engagements.
In total for 2018, there were 439 wins among Smaller Reporting Companies.
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