Are small-caps better served by mid-size firms?
A little late, but a blog post at CFO.com about the level of service a small-cap public company can expect to receive from a Big Four auditor compared to a mid-size firm seemed interesting enough to share:
CFO.com reader Kunal Ganguly wrote us to say a company of Catapult’s size, with its $102 million market cap, shouldn’t have been using a giant like Deloitte anyway. A local firm would be a better fit because it likely has more experience handling companies of a smaller size, he thinks. Adds accounting professor Zafar Iqbal: “[Smaller] public accounting firms have more experience with, and better knowledge of, the needs of smaller clients. Thus they are in a position to add more value.”
Catapult Communications is a US company based in California that recently announced it was switching from Deloitte to Stonefield Josephson and saving roughly 45% of their usual audit costs to do so. To be honest when I first read about the move it didn’t strike me as all that remarkable. Companies change auditors and save money doing so all the time. Not 43 to 49% of fees, sure, but it wasn’t as if the sky was falling.
Truth is, the stories in the media made this all about the money, which is why the blog post was special. It focuses on the quality of service and expertise Catapult and other smaller companies can expect to receive from a non Big Four audit firm. Something to think about, if you’re in the market for assurance services.