For the fourth year running, Top 7 Firm BDO USA led large auditing firms in new Securities and Exchange Commission audit clients, landing 32 new engagements.

Overall, it netted 10 SEC clients, tying Top 20 firm Marcum, which brought on 18 new clients over the year. (See “2016 Client Gains & Losses.”)

The highest numbers in our annual ranking, however, were racked up by smaller firms, starting with Hong Kong’s DCAW (CPA) Ltd., which was created in 2016 from the merger of two local firms, with 45 brand-new clients. Utah’s Haynie & Co., meanwhile, took second spot with 29 net and new engagements, the vast majority of which came through a merger with fellow Salt Lake City firm HJ & Associates at the start of the year. (See “Net Engagement Leaders.)

As leaders on the large firm list and the overall list, BDO and DCAW were well-positioned to rake in the most clients by filing type: BDO led among accelerated filers, while DCAW brought on the most non-accelerated filers and the most smaller reporting companies. Deloitte & Touche rounded out the lists at the top of the large accelerated filer ranking, with BDO in second. (See “Audit Leaders.”)

Here’s a short sampling of the auditing firms that took on a significant number of new clients from a single source:

  • Las Vegas-based AMC Auditing, which brought on 27 net and new clients, the majority of which came from acquiring the practice of Seale & Beers.
  • KCCW Accountancy Corp., in California, which brought on 16 net and new clients, many from Anton & Chia, which dropped a large number of clients in May.
  • Fruci & Associates, in Spokane, Wash., which brought on 15 net and new clients, largely from Seattle’s George Stewart CPA, who discontinued his practice in 2016.
  • Top 100 Firm Dixon Hughes Goodman, which brought on 14 net and new clients, many from its January 2016 merger with Baltimore-based Stegman & Co.

Another leader
PricewaterhouseCoopers tied for the least net audit clients among large firms, but the 18 new engagements it did bring on were significant, allowing it to top the annual rankings of new market capitalization audited, new assets audited and new audit fees. (See “New Client Leaders.”)

Three new clients stood out for PwC: consumer goods company Newell Brands (with $11.8 billion in market cap, $7.3 billion in assets and audited fees of $6.8 million); power company American Electric Power Co. (with $28.6 billion in market cap, $61.6 billion in assets, and audit fees of $11 million), and energy management and control technologies creator Johnson Controls International (with $14 billion in market cap, $30 billion in assets, and $24.6 million in audit fees)

Data for the quarterly rankings are provided by Audit Analytics, a premium online intelligence service delivering audit, regulatory and disclosure analysis. Reach them at (508) 476-7007, [email protected] or

Daniel Hood

Daniel Hood is editor-in-chief of Accounting Today and Tax Pro Today, and has covered the tax and accounting field for over 20 years.