The recession is causing a contraction of
the UK publicly listed audit market, according to the latest
quarterly rankings by business and financial data provider
Hemscott.

The leading 10 firms, in terms of the number
of clients they audit, reported a cumulative loss of 55 clients
between the first quarter and the second quarter this year.

KPMG, which audits the greatest number of
clients, shed 13 clients in the past quarter, while Ernst &
Young lost 11, the second biggest drop in the three months to 6
May.

A Hemscott spokesperson said the decrease this
quarter is due to a culmination of three factors.

“Firms are being squeezed on cost as much as
possible due to the economic downturn; some firms are picking
smaller auditors with smaller costs; and there has also been a
certain amount of natural shrinkage through the markets contracting
be it companies going bust or returning to being private
enterprises,” he said.

KPMG remains the auditor of the most companies
overall with 385 clients. PricewaterhouseCoopers UK (PwC) was down
three to 341 and Deloitte UK lost one to 316.

Grant Thornton led the AIM-listed clients
chart, despite dropping four to 205. KPMG was down eight clients to
180, BDO down five to 131, Deloitte up one to 128 and PwC down five
to 108.

Head of audit at Grant Thornton UK Phil Crooks
said that the firm’s position in the league table reflects both the
level of service the firm provides and the strength of
long-standing relationships with clients.

PwC audits the most FTSE 100 clients with 37,
KPMG picked up two clients to end the quarter with 24, overtaking
Deloitte, which dropped one client to finish with 23.

PwC overtook Deloitte as the auditor of the
most FTSE 250 clients, up eight to 68. Deloitte was down one client
to 60, KPMG down three to 54, E&Y remained steady on 48 and BDO
Stoy Hayward gained a client.

Nicola Maher

AUDIT CLIENTS

Leading UK audit firms by number
of clients

FTSE 100

Rank

Firm

Clients Q2

+/-

1

PwC

37

-2

2

KPMG

24

2

3

Deloitte

23

-1

FTSE 250

Rank

Firm

Clients Q2

+/-

1

PwC

68

8

2

Deloitte

60

-1

3

KPMG

54

-3

AIM-listed

Rank

Firm

Clients Q2

+/-

1

Grant Thornton

205

-4

2

KPMG

180

-8

3

BDO Stoy Hayward

131

-5

Notes: Difference in number of clients is
between Q1 and Q2, which is the three months to 6 May.
Source: Hemscott Advisers Rankings Guide Q2 2009

AUDIT CLIENTS

Leading UK audit firms by number
of clients

Overall Top 10

Rank

Firm

Clients Q2

+/-

1

KPMG

385

-13

2

PwC

341

-3

3

Deloitte

316

-1

4

Grant Thornton

286

-5

5

E&Y

285

-11

6

BDO Stoy Hayward

160

-5

7

Baker Tilly

100

-9

8

PKF UK

92

-2

9

Mazars

38

-5

10

Smith & Williamson

33

-1

Notes: Difference in number of clients is
between Q1 and Q2, which is the three months to 6 May.
Source: Hemscott Advisers Rankings Guide Q2 2009