Last year we discussed the auditor market share for non-profit institutions and ERISA benefit plans. In this post, we expand on that research and review the auditor market share for ERISA benefit plans for three large areas of the United States: California, Texas, and New England.
There were a total of 8,622 ERISA plans audited in California. Moss Adams audited 861 benefit plans, more than twice the number of the next highest firm, Miller Kaplan Arase & Co. Moss Adams has over 10 office locations in California, including in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.
Each of the Big 4 firms made the top 10 for California. While they may not audit the most number of plans for this area, they do play a significant role in auditing the larger ERISA benefit plans.
There were a total of 5,446 ERISA plans audited in Texas. The two leading audit firms were BDO USA and Weaver & Tidwell, auditing 209 and 204 benefit plans. Unlike California, we do not see such a large gap between the top Texas firm and the rest.The average of the total plan assets for the combined auditors in Texas was $29.6 million. Ernst & Young had the largest average total plan assets of $2 billion. Although KPMG is not in the top 10, the Big 4 firm trailed behind Wagner Eubank & Nichols by only about $1.9 million.
As one can see from the table above, the average total plan assets for all the auditors in New England was about $37 million. KPMG had average total plan assets nearing $2 billion, which is more than double the second largest average plan assets of $976 million that were audited by Daniel A Winters and Company. PwC, EY, and Deloitte were also among the top 10 auditors for the New England region.
Consistent with recent findings, this data supports that while the Big 4 are influential in the auditing of larger public companies, smaller auditing firms hold more market share of ERISA benefit plans.
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Note: Data pulled on 6/21/16 and accounts for the most recent filing an individual plan has had in the last 30 months.