Auditor Changes Roundup: Q3 2018

Marcum, with a net of 22 new SEC audit clients, accounts for the largest number of new clients among all firms this quarter. Marcum’s merger with GBH CPAs in July 2018 is a key factor in the significant gain of 30 new clients. Of all audit firms, BF Borgers CPA followed Marcum, with a net gain of 11 clients.

As noted by Accounting Today, Marcum’s 30 engagements in Q3 2018 is more than four times as many clients as the next closest large firm. For the major global and national firms, Deloitte had the largest gain after Marcum, with a net increase of seven new audit clients. Ernst & Young, Grant Thornton, and RSM US also had a net increase in new clients this quarter.

Looking at the matrix below, there were 57 new engagements and 30 departures among the major global and national firms during Q3. There was an increase in the number of new engagements during the third quarter this year, compared to the 36 new engagements in Q3 of 2017. Departures during Q3 are down compared to the 60 departures noted last quarter.

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.

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In the following tables, we disaggregate the auditor changes by the size of the companies gained 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 and Ernst & Young tied as the top firm for Large Accelerated Filers this quarter, with a net of one new SEC audit client each. There were no other audit firm changes among Large Accelerated Filers in Q3.

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 led among Accelerated Filers with a net of six new SEC audit clients. There were three different 4-way ties among firms with a net gain of one new client, firms with a net loss of one client, and firms with no net changes.

The last table presents the top four gains and losses for Smaller Reporting Companies.

Marcum, with a net of 20 new clients, was the top firm among the Smaller Reporting Companies, while GBH CPAs had a net loss of 22 clients – corresponding with the merger on July 1, 2018.

Following Marcum with Smaller Reporting Company engagements, BF Borgers CPA had a net of 11 new clients. Sadler Gibb & Associates and Turner Stone & Company also had an increase in new SEC audit clients this quarter, netting four and three new clients, respectively.

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