Ernst & Young Holds Top Spot in Public Company Audit Clients

Ernst & Young
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Terry Sheridan
Columnist
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A decrease in the number of smaller reporting companies helped grow the market share of the top 10 audit firms in 2016, but only by 1 percent, according to a recent analysis by Audit Analytics.

Last year, Ernst & Young audited 947 public companies registered with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the most of any audit firm. EY was followed by fellow Big Four firms PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, and Deloitte.

Though there were more than 100 new initial public offering companies last year, the public company population used by Audit Analytics for its Who Audits Public Companies—2017 Edition dropped from 6,935 to 6,460.

This decrease was driven by an almost 12 percent drop in smaller reporting companies, which account for the biggest share of public company audits. Still, the market share for the 10-largest public company auditors grew from 60.7 percent in 2015 to 61.7 percent in 2016, Audit Analytics reports. All told, the top 10 audited 3,985 of the 6,460 public registrants.

The top 10 audit firms by public company count and percentage of market share are:

  1. EY: 947 (14.7 percent)
  2. PwC: 696 (10.8 percent)
  3. KPMG: 665 (10.3 percent)
  4. Deloitte & Touche: 642 (9.9 percent)
  5. BDO USA: 285 (4.4 percent)
  6. Grant Thornton: 226 (3.5 percent)
  7. MaloneBailey: 168 (2.6 percent)
  8. Marcum: 133 (2.1 percent)
  9. RSM US: 130 (2 percent)
  10. Crowe Horwath: 93 (1.4 percent)

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