Auditor Changes Roundup: Q1 2016

The first quarter of 2016 was a relatively quiet one in terms of SEC-client auditor changes among the major global and national firms. EisnerAmper led the way with five wins and one loss, for a net increase of four new clients. Each of the national firm’s wins came from Regional and Local firms.

Deloitte, Marcum, and Grant Thornton were the only other firms to see an increase during the period. And, after a string of strong results, BDO managed only to break even this quarter, on four wins and four losses.

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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Table 1_ Wins and Losses

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.

Table 2_ LAF Q1

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.

Table 3_ AF Q1

Finally, the last table presents the top five gains and losses for Smaller Reporting Companies.

Table 4_ SRC Q1

Haynie & Company and HJ Associates bookend the wins and losses among Smaller Reporting Companies, with the former winning 24 and the latter “losing” 27. That’s not just a coincidence: the two Salt Lake City firms joined forces after Haynie acquired HJ. Another pair of wins and losses are related by acquisition: Hall & Company, based in Irvine, CA, acquired the Anaheim-based Hartley Moore in February.

All these mergers and acquisitions have added up over the past decade. We’ve seen a steady decrease in the number of PCAOB-registered firms since 2006.

MaloneBailey, RBSM, and Pritchett Siler & Hardy continued on their successes from 2015. For all of last year, these firms won a net total of 38, 41, and 16, respectively.

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