Big 4 firms lost a combined 64 public company audit engagements in 2014 as second-tier national firms snatched up a combined 58 new clients, according to the latest data on auditor changes.
Audit Analytics annual summary of auditor changes says KPMG is the only Big 4 firm to win more new engagement than it lost in 2014, picking up 48 new clients and losing 33 for a net gain of 15. The data shows KPMG gained 26 of its new clients from national and regional or local firms, but lost 28 of its engagements to those same firms. It gained 22 engagements away from other Big 4 firms but lost only five to its largest competitors. Last year, Big 4 firms lost 37 engagements while second-tier national firms gained 43.
EY picked up only 22 new clients and lost 65 for a net loss of 43, followed by net losses of 28 for PwC and 8 for Deloitte. EY gained 9 engagements away from national and regional/local firms and 13 away from other Big 4 firms, but lost 31 to Big 4 firms and 32 to national and regional/local firms. PwC, on the other hand, lost the majority of its engagements to other Big 4 firms, 32 to other Big 4 firms compared with 15 to national or regional/local firms. PwC won 15 clients away from Big 4 competitors but only six from national or regional/local firms.
Among the second tier of major accounting firms, BDO USA led the gainers with a net 40 new engagements. The firm wooed 19 clients away from larger Big 4 firms, and 35 away from other national and regional/local firms, but lost a total of 14 engagements, mostly to other national or regional/local firms. Grant Thornton picked up 30 engagements for the year, 20 from Big 4 firms, but it lost 9 engagements to Big 4 firms and an equal number to national or regional/local firms.
Crowe Horwath ended the year with exactly the same number of public company engagements, picking up fewer than a dozen but losing the same number, roughly evenly split between Big 4 and other national or regional/local firms. McGladrey gained 14 clients, eight of them from Big 4 firms, but lost 18, only two of them to larger firms.
Another big winner in public company audit engagements was Marcum, winning 27 new clients while losing a dozen, with the most of the churn among other national or regional/local firms. Another regional/local firm, UHY, lost 18 clients, all to other national or regional/local firms, except two who just straight to the Big 4. The firm picked up no new clients during the year.