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BDO climbs to the top of UK audit market

BDO has become the second-largest auditor in the UK, having gained 35 listed clients in the 12 months to May, according to the latest data from Adviser Rankings.

It comes as an increasing number of companies have turned to the services of firms outside of the ‘Big Four’, the Financial Times has said, and marks the first time a “mid-tier” auditor has been listed in second place. 

In total, BDO now audits 297 listed companies, while PwC was the largest auditor with 326 companies in its books. 

KPMG was the third largest auditor, with 286 currently listed clients. According to Adviser Rankings, however, the accountancy giant had 63 fewer clients compared with the year prior. 

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According to the Financial Times, both the rise of BDO clients and fall of KPMG clients suggest there has been a “shift in boardroom attitudes” this year. It comes as BDO’s “larger rivals” have “raised their fees and abandoned risky clients in the face of closer scrutiny of their work by regulators”. 

It comes as the Big Four firms have faced recent criticism over their accounting and audit procedures, such as KPMG’s handling of Carillion’s books, which in turn has led to a proposed lawsuit against the accountancy giant. 

BDO, meanwhile, is looking to acquire more listed companies later on this year, according to the paper. 

Scott Knight, head of audit at BDO, said: “Four independent reviews in the last year set out a clear need for more choice in the audit market. We’re now beginning to see a shift in the right direction.” 

It comes as the government is reportedly considering proposals to make it mandatory for larger listed businesses to appoint one Big Four firm and one challenger firm to conduct joint audits on their companies. 

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