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EY Continues Streak As Big 4’s Busiest Audit Firm

EY has had a few firsts in recent years: first Big 4 firm with unlimited PTO, first audit firm to get a $100 million fine from the SEC, first Big 4 firm to compare men and women with waffles and pancakes, and first place among the Big 4 in public company audit clients for the past seven years. Make that eight straight years now.

Audit Analytics recently released its annual market share analysis of auditor engagements at public companies, and the top 10 firms by registrant counts in 2022 are unchanged from last year: EY, Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, Marcum, Withum, Grant Thornton, BDO, BF Borgers, and RSM. Together, these 10 firms audit 68.8% of all SEC-registered public companies.

In 2020, Deloitte—which was in fourth place as recently as 2017—knocked PwC out of second, a spot the House of Ryan had held since EY kicked them out of first place in 2015.

In the chart above, notice the rankings of Marcum and Withum. The two firms are in the top six because they are the most active auditors of special-purpose acquisition companies. But if you remove SPACs from the equation, the top 10 firms list looks a bit different, according to Audit Analytics:

When excluding approximately 700 SPACs, the top ten firms by registrant count changes. SPACs have limited operations until they conduct a business combination. Therefore, audits of these entities, while requiring certain expertise, are less complex than the audits of operational public companies.

Without SPACs or blank check companies, the top ten firms consist of the Big Four, followed by Grant Thornton, BDO, Marcum, BF Borgers, RSM, and Crowe. Collectively, when SPACs are excluded, those firms audit 67.0% of the public company market. This mirrors the concentration seen with the top ten firms for the entire public company population, albeit with a slightly different roster of firms.

With 632 clients, EY audits the most large accelerated filers (28.4% of market share), including companies that identified as both a large accelerated filer and a smaller reporting company, Audit Analytics said. The Big 4 audits pretty much all large accelerated filers (88%). Deloitte is the top audit firm of both accelerated filers (17.8% of market share) and non-accelerated filers (17.5% of market share).

Who Audits Public Companies – 2022 Edition [Audit Analytics]

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