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Which Firm Topped the Big 4 in IPO Audits in Q1 of 2019?

2019 is supposed to be a record-breaking year for initial public offerings. At least that’s what the experts have been telling everyone. Barrett Daniels, Deloitte’s national IPO services leader, said the IPO market in 2019 “could end up being historic,” while Jackie Kelley, EY Americas IPO leader, said “this is going to be the best year for IPOs we’ve seen in ages.”

Companies that are expected to go public sometime this year include:

  • Uber
  • Palantir Technologies
  • Airbnb
  • Slack
  • Postmates
  • WeWork

But 2019 came in more like a lamb than a lion, due primarily to the government shutdown at the beginning of the year. According to Audit Analytics, between Jan. 1 and March 31, 40 IPOs raised more than $7.7 billion, a decrease of about $10 billion from the first quarter of 2018 and about $1.7 billion less than the fourth quarter of 2018.

You may have heard of the two companies with the largest IPOs in the first quarter:

  • Lyft (raised $2.3 billion)
  • Levi Strauss (raised $623 million)

Both of these deals were audited by PwC, by the way. In fact, the three IPOs audited by P. Dubs raised nearly $3.1 billion, the highest amount of total proceeds in the first quarter among audit firm clients, according to Audit Analytics’ analysis.

Withum ranked second in terms of proceeds, with its clients raising more than $1.4 billion, while EY ranked third, with its clients raising more than $1 billion in Q1.

And of the 40 IPOs in the first quarter, the Big 4 audited 17, which was 42.5% of the IPO market.

BUT! One non-Big 4 firm audited the most IPOs (eight, with a total of $896 million in proceeds) during Q1.






This really isn’t too surprising, as Marcum completed 25 IPO audits last year, finishing 2018 as the top-ranked non-Big 4 IPO audit firm and tying for fourth place overall.

Here’s a chart from Audit Analytics showing the IPO auditor market share for Q1:

Some of the “other” firms, according to an analysis by Renaissance Capital, include:

  • Grant Thornton: 2 IPOs, $331 million in proceeds
  • UHY: 1 IPO, $50 million in proceeds
  • Squar Milner, 1 IPO, $25 million in proceeds

Related articles:

10 Tips on How Controllers Can Survive Their First IPO
Supporting the CFO Through the IPO Process Is a Big Task for Controllers
No Matter the Timeline, Controllers and Their Teams Must Be Ready When the IPO Window Opens