A small victory: beating the Big Four to the punch

Catapult Communications, a US-company based in California, recently announced
publicly it was switching from Deloitte to our firm
, and saving roughly 45% of the usual audit costs in doing so.

Catapult’s decision is an important one for two reasons. It will influence
companies to be more open about why they choose and review auditors and it
underscores the significant advantages companies can expect to receive from a
regional, non Big Four firm.

These advantages include direct principal interaction, consistent staffing of
projects, lower cost of services, fewer levels of bureaucracy, quick decisions,
and a high level of quality and service.

Of course, many regional accounting firms position themselves as an
alternative to the Big Four. We take that a step further by differentiating
ourselves not only from the Big Four, but also from other regional firms thanks
to our technical acumen. We have a full-time practice leader/compliance officer
to oversee quality, risk management and training supported by a quality control

Also we have a very strong practice serving public companies. It is an area
of significant talent within the firm. Our commitment to grow, diversify and
serve public companies has resulted in our having been named as the nation’s
third fastest-growing accounting firm.

Our substantial international experience is of significant value to our
private and public company clients. It includes professional staff working in
our Hong Kong office and in such countries as Australia, Canada, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Russia, and the United Kingdom.
In addition to our Hong Kong office, our five offices throughout California are
indicative of our ultimate goal of becoming California’s premier regional firm.

Our client care programme, an ongoing client relationship initiative that
reinforces our pledge to provide excellent service and value as
promised by our slogan: ‘We pay attention’. It reflects our commitment to being
a learning and knowledge-sharing organisation.

It involves taking positive action, based on the feedback of clients, to
provide an increasingly higher level of service, resulting in higher client

The bottom line is Catapult’s belief that a regional accounting firm can
offer service quality comparable to a Big Four firm at a fair price. Obviously,
we believe that, too. And an increasing number of Big Four clients may come to
that conclusion.

Jeffrey M Garrison is president of US firm

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