RSM Tenon and Crowe Clark AIM higher

RSM TENON and Crowe Clark Whitehall are among the winners in ranking specialist Morningstar’s latest quarterly auditor results.

CCW has enjoyed the largest four-year AIM client gain, collecting nine new customers since October 2007 to bring its total to 29, and climbing four places to number nine.

Fiona Hotston Moore, partner and head of corporate business London, said CCW is “delighted”, adding: “Clearly our strategy of consolidating our position in key markets and building our global offering whilst maintaining excellence in client service is paying dividends.”

RSM Tenon enjoyed the largest ranking jump, leapfrogging competitors to move from 20th to 14th place over the same period.

Chief executive Andy Raynor commented: “This is a great result for our audit practice and comes as a result of us aligning to the ever-increasing demands and rigours of audit regulation in the UK. We will continue to look to expand this area of our business, and exploit the many opportunities to grow within the sector.”

Moore Stephens suffered the worst decline, slipping from 12th to 19th place in the list and shedding 12 clients.

However, it is the largest firms that really seem to have suffered when it comes to losing AIM audits.

KPMG dropped the most with 52 clients going elsewhere since 2007 while Ernst & Young lost 45, Baker Tilly relinquished 42 and Grant Thornton bid farewell to 40.

The number of lost AIM audit clients far exceeds those gained by firms, and Morningstar said this is due to large-scale de-listings during the financial crisis. From around 1,350 AIM companies in October 2007, there are just 930 today.

UHY Hacker Young and law firm Trowers & Hamlins said the rate began to fall in 2010, with 10 de-listings in the first quarter, compared to 22 during the final three months of 2009.
Law partner Charles Wilson said: “The delisting crisis appears to be over. Not only do these figures show that AIM is no longer hemorrhaging companies, almost half of those that have delisted are doing so because they have been taken over which is a positive sign for the market after a turbulent eighteen months to say the least.”

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