Financial Accounting Blog

Sunday, February 15, 2004 reports that public companies are leaving the big 4 accounting firms in favor of smaller ones.
When it comes to auditors, many companies are apparently deciding that bigger is not necessarily better. That assessment comes courtesy of Auditor-Trak, a database that records more than 12,000 auditor changes. In 2003, PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Deloitte & Touche, and Ernst & Young each lost more public-company audit clients than it gained, according to a report on

Meanwhile, more than half of those clients migrated to smaller auditing firms — or even local ones — instead of hiring another Big Four auditor. Smaller national firms such as Grant Thornton, BDO Seidman, and McGladrey & Pullen nabbed a total of more than 21 percent of the clients that left the Big Four, according to Auditor-Trak's analysis. Another 34 percent went with a regional or local firm as a replacement.