September 23, 2020

Audit competition

EY Still Atop Public Company Audit Client Leaderboard

EY having the most public company audit clients in 2020 isn’t really the biggest news coming out of Audit Analytics’ latest analysis of public company auditors because the Black and Yellow has led each of the past half-dozen years. The bigger news is there’s a different Big 4 firm occupying second place. While EY has […]

New Analysis of Public Company Auditors Reveals the Same Old Sh*t, Different Year

Our friends over at Audit Analytics just came out with its 2019 analysis of public company auditors in the U.S., and the results are exactly what you would expect: the Big 4 firms audit just under half of all public companies, and EY audits the most by a pretty wide margin. If you add up […]

Grant Thornton Audit Partner Can Barely Keep From Laughing at PwC’s Claim That UK Audit Market Is ‘Fiercely Competitive’

For some time now, second-tier audit firms in the UK have been bent out of shape about the domination of the Big 4. And seeing how one of the Final Four Horsemen of the accounting apocalypse is auditing 99 out of 100 FTSE companies (and 240 of the FTSE 250), they may have a legitimate beef. On […]

Clifton Gunderson Plays Hardball with KPMG, Other Audit Firms By Pitching a Low Ball

Meanwhile, back in the world of where people actually do work – a friend of GC sent us the following:

I heard an amazing price war story from a very reputable source. Thought you would enjoy.

A KPMG audit client in the Virginia Beach area went out to bid. KPMG bid approx $85K, a regional firm bid mid-60K, another firm approximately 40K, and Clifton Gunderson undercut everyone by bidding $19K on the audit. 19K! How in the hell is that possible? This is a prime example of what is happening out there.

Don’t know if this is SOP at Clifton but that price has to make for some horrendous realization or it’s simply staffed by an entry-level associate and a partner. Other theories on how they plan to pull this off without completely losing their shirts are welcome.

Accounting News Roundup: SEC at “Bottom of the Barrel” When it Comes to Diversity; More on Competition (or Lack Thereof) in the Audit Market; Define “Rich” | 10.01.10

SEC Plans to Hire More Women and Minorities Amidst Poor Rankings [FINS]
“At a recent panel discussion and networking event at the agency, Commissioner Luis Aguilar spoke about the need to hire ‘the best and brightest,’ while acknowledging that in the past it hasn’t done a good job of recruiting women and minorities.

In his speech, Aguilar said that as of FY 2009, 89% of the SEC’s senior officers were white, 4% African-American, 3% Hispanic and 2% Asian. Along gender lines, 67% of the officers were male and 33% were female.

Moreover, in a recent survey published by the Partnership for Public Service, the SEC fell from 11th to 24th place on a list of the ‘Best Places to Work’ rankings. With regard to diversity, the SEC ranked 24th out of 28 agencies when it came to diversity. In other words, the bottom of the barrel.”

PCAOB Fires Shot on Audit Issues, Calls for Enforcement [Compliance Week]
“The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board has published a report summarizing its observations after inspecting audits performed while credit market seized and the economy plunged into depression. The report says auditors generally didn’t adhere adequately to PCAOB standards when it came to some of the toughest areas in financial reporting through the credit crisis – namely fair value measurements, goodwill impairments, indefinite-lived intangible assets and other long-lived assets, allowances for loan losses, off-balance-sheet structures, revenue recognition, inventory and income taxes.”

Viacom Names New CFO [WSJ]
Controller James Barge succeeds Tom Dooley who jumped over to the COO seat.

Accounting niches [AccMan]
Are accountants doing enough to leverage their professional expertise?

Investors unhappy with lack of competition in audit market [Accountancy Age]
“The Association Of British Insurers (ABI), whose members account for almost 15 per cent of investments in the London stock market, is worried about the audit structure and said it has made its views known in a submission to a House of Lords inquiry into audit competition.”


H&R Block sees 5-cent hit from IRS policy change [AP]
Fewer rapid refunds doesn’t seem like a bad thing.

KPMG’s Fuzzy Math on Atlantic Yards [NYO]
The completion of the Atlantic Yards project remains on a timetable that runs parallel to the adoption of IFRS in the United States.

Tax the rich, whoever they are [Don’t Mess with Taxes]
Come out with your hands up!