Smaller Accounting Firms in Big Demand

With the Big Four accounting firms busy helping public companies comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, smaller firms are picking up business once dominated by their bigger rivals.

At least two surveys over the last two years show that Big Four accounting firms are losing clients. Some of it is by choice, as the Big Four have had to drop some smaller companies to make sure their big public clients are in full compliance with the corporate reform legislation, especially the rigorous internal control requirements. Some companies, however, are turning to small firms to get closer attention and lower rates.


Click Here
The combined advantage of PPC and Checkpoint® for integrated tax compliance and planning

RIA's Checkpoint has now integrated the industry's leading tax compliance and planning resources from PPC PPC’s Tax Deskbooks™, renowned for the unique Key Issues Approach to step-by-step return preparation, and PPC’s Business Tax Planning Library™, which provides tax return roadmaps and practice aids to quickly identify potential tax planning opportunities from completed tax returns.

Try PPC's Tax Deskbooks™ on Checkpoint and PPC's Business Tax Planning Library™ on Checkpoint FREE for 30 days.

The phenomenon extends around the globe. According to the Star Online of Malaysia, business clients are looking for smaller accounting firms that offer quick turnarounds, flexibility and lower fees. Robert Teo, a partner in RSM Group, an international accounting and consulting firm, said RSM in Malaysia changed its structure two or three years ago to a “boutique-sized size and approach.” Star Online reported that RSM is the leading firm for medium-sized companies in the U.S.

Patrick McEvoy of CPA Marketing Best Practices urges small CPA firms to beef up their marketing efforts for 2006 by capitalizing on the value of small firms' personal service and lower rates. He said the Big Four have doubled their rates over the last two years, so companies are open to the idea of switching.

Consider these recent examples:

  • CompuDyne, the Annapolis security technology company, dismissed PricewaterhouseCoopers and hired a smaller firm, Aronson & Co., according to the Baltimore Business Journal.
  • The Warwick Valley (N.Y.) Telephone Company dismissed PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP and hired WithumSmith+Brown PC to audit financial statements and the effectiveness of internal controls.
  • Cardima Inc., the Fremont, Calif. medical device maker, hired Marc Lumer & Co. to replace BDO Seidman LLP, which recently resigned as Cardima's accounting firm, according to the East Bay Business Times.

You may like these other stories...

Here's a CPA who truly walks the walk. On March 15, Frank Ryan, CPA, departed San Diego, California, with plans to be in Ocean City, Maryland, by July 2 to teach a course at the Maryland Association of CPAs’ (MACPA...
When Theodore J. Flynn first joined the Massachusetts Society of CPAs (MSCPA) in 1970, it was a different world and a different profession.  The "Big Eight" were still headquartered in Boston. Vietnam War...
Accountant Rickey Charles Goodrich had it a little too good. Many bean counters would kill to serve as financial guru to the likes of Pearl Jam. Goodrich was hired in 2005, and the following year, he became the CFO of Curtis...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Oct 30Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links.
Nov 5Join CPA thought leader and peer reviewer Rob Cameron and learn ways to improve the outcome of your peer reviews while maximizing the value of your engagement workflow.
Nov 12This webcast presents basic principles of revenue recognition, including new ASU 2014-09 for the contract method. Also, CPAs in industries who want a refresher on revenue accounting standards will benefit.
Nov 18In this session Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA tackles what to do when bad things happen to good spreadsheets.