Once again Top 10 Firm BDO USA leads the largest firms in the country in grabbing up the most new Securities and Exchange Commission audit clients, having signed up a net of 10 in the first quarter of 2015.

While BDO is in the midst of an aggressive, years-long strategy of mergers and acquisitions that has often boosted its roster of new SEC clients, in this quarter the jump was all organic -- or at least not a direct result of a merger. As BDO CEO Wayne Berson pointed out earlier this year, “The firm’s strong growth overall over the past two years has certainly increased our profile nationally and in some new markets, and that in and of itself translates into an increase in the number of invitations to propose on work. Plain and simple, you could say we’re being asked to the table more often.” (See “Q1 Clients Gains & Losses.”)

But as good a quarter as BDO had, the overall leader in Q1 was a much smaller firm, New York-based RBSM, which had a whopping 38 new engagements, largely due to its January 1 merger with Las Vegas-based LL Bradford & Co., which brought on the vast majority of those clients, including a number of oil and mining companies. (See “Net Engagement Leaders.”)

Thanks to those gains, RBSM led the quarter in terms of snapping up new smaller reporting companies, while KPMG took the top spot with large accelerated filers, and BDO was first among accelerated filers. (See “Audit Leaders.”)

Of course mergers aren’t the only way to get new clients -- it helps if their previous auditor lost its Public Company Accounting Oversight Board registration, as happened to The Hall Group, according to the Audit Carousel blog. Texas-based MaloneBailey brought in four new clients as a result, almost a quarter of its new client haul for the period.


MORE DETAILS

Deloitte led the way in two of our other quarterly measurements: Taking first in new SEC audits by market capitalization, with almost half of its $8.86 billion in new market cap audited coming from brewer Boston Beer, with a market cap of $3.78 billion. It added a further $1.7 billion in market cap from financial transactions processor Evertec Inc., and another $1.5 billion from farm products wholesaler Andersons Inc. Andersons helped the Big Four firm to lead the list of new audit fees, too, contributing $3.1 million, while Puerto Rican insurance and managed care company Triple-S Management Corp. brought along in $4.1 million. (See “New Client Leaders.”)

Fellow Big Four firm KPMG came in second in new market cap audited, with its biggest boost coming from office furniture manufacturer HNI, with a market cap of $2.24 billion, and second in audit fees, where music publisher Warner Music Group Corp. contributed the most, at $4.625 million. The firm led among assets audited, with Warner Music’s $6.2 billion accounting for half of its haul. BDO came in second in new assets audited, with consumer and commercial bank Flushing Financial alone contributing $5.08 billion, by far the biggest chunk of the firm’s new assets audited.

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, info@auditanalytics.com or www.auditanalytics.com.

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