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Which Firm Had the Most IPO Audit Clients In Q1 2020?

It’s that time of year when our friends over at Audit Analytics begin to roll out their quarterly reports on initial public offerings and auditor market share. The research firm’s first quarter analysis is out, and there was a four-way tie for most IPOs audited in Q1—and it wasn’t a Big 4 sweep.

But before we get to Q1’s biggest stars, it’s worth noting that between Jan. 1 and March 31, there were 37 IPOs in the U.S., which raised more than $9.8 billion—an increase of over $2 billion compared to Q1 2019 and an increase of more than $1 billion from Q4 2019, according to Audit Analytics. Not bad for a quarter that ended in the midst of a pandemic.

Obviously, IPO activity is going to be extremely limited in Q2 due to the COVID-19 crisis, and according to an EY report, the next IPO window will likely be after the Q2 2020 earnings, in late July and first half of August.

Jackie Kelley, EY Americas IPO leader, said:

“While COVID-19 and oil tensions have largely dried up IPO activity for now, IPO preparation continues and the IPO pipeline is growing, as issuers look for opportunities to be prepared for calmer and more conducive markets.”

While EY was the auditor for three IPOs in the first quarter, they weren’t among the quartet of firms tied for first with seven:

Marcum continued to hold their own with the big boys in Q1, coming off a 2019 in which they outdueled the Big 4 in IPO audit engagements in two of the four quarters. Withum also had a strong showing in Q1 2019 with seven IPO clients.

Together, the Big 4 audited 20 IPOs, or 54.1% of the IPO market in Q1 2020.

Even though Deloitte audited only three IPOs in the first quarter, their clients raised more than $3.2 billion, the highest amount raised this quarter. One of Big D’s clients, PPD Inc., was the top IPO in Q1, according to Audit Analytics.

Q1 2020 IPOs: Auditor Market Share and Stats [Audit Analytics]