Auditor Landscape Germany Market Intelligence

*This report was last updated in Q4 2018. Please click on request customization if you are looking for an updated version of this report

Report Coverage

  • Germany Auditor Market Share
  • Leading Audit Companies in Germany
  • Big Four-Client Gains and Losses
  • Auditor List:Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 Companies
  • Supplier Profiling

Table of contents

  1. Executive Summary
  1. Auditor Landscape
  1. Auditor Switching Statistics
  1. German Supplier Landscape

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Regional Market Outlook on Auditor Landscape

DAX 30 mostly opt for engagement with one of the big four firms for audit services. In Germany, the non big four companies for audit services is a preferred choice of mid-tier corporations (Mittelstand companies).


Germany: Auditor Market Share (2016)

  • Auditor Landscape: In Germany, 156 firms audit 739 companies
  • Oligopoly Market: The German audit industry behaves as an oligopolistic market with big four holding nearly  50 percent of the market share
  • Buyer Power: Corporate buyers having an audit fee to revenue ratio greater than or equal to 0.06 percent have significant purchasing power, while procuring audit services

Big Four Market Share of DAX 30 (2016-2017)

  • Big Four Dominance: All companies listed on DAX 30 index are audited by one of the big four companies
  • KPMG is Number One: KPMG is the leader in auditing DAX 30 companies, especially financial services companies
  • Non Big Four Presence:-Non big four audit none of the DAX 30 companies. Furthermore, out of 25 audit tenders completed by FTSE 350 companies in 2016, none were awarded to a non-big four firm

Auditor Switching: DAX 30 Companies

Major non big four companies, namely BDO and Grant Thornton(or others), have not picked up any DAX 30 client post EU audit reform. Big four remain the preferred choice of DAX 30 companies owing to their goodwill, brand and client industry experience.


  • In December 2015, Deloitte won Bayer audit contract against EY and KPMG. Deloitte attributed its client win to EU Mandatory Auditor Rotation Reform
  • Deloitte will take over Bayer audit from PwC in 2018. Deloitte though a global leader, held the smallest portion of DAX 30 companies until 2015 (until then Deloitte only had one DAX mandate i.e. K+S.)


  • Complying to EU audit regulations of auditor rotation, Commerzbank has shifted its auditors from PwC to EY. EY will take over Commerzbank audit from PwC in 2018 (with transition starting mid-2017)
  • Currently, EY audits 10 percent of DAX mandates (excluding Commerzbank), holding third position amongst the big four. EY plans to double its mandate in coming years, endangering KPMG and PwC clientele

Big Four: Client Gain and Losses

For the year 2016, KPMG audited the highest number of FTSE clients followed by PwC, Deloitte and EY respectively. KPMG and PwC are thus preferred auditor choice for publicly listed companies in the European region.

PwC dominates the FTSE 350 market with numeric gains followed by KPMG. For SEC clients, PwC has won approximately $15 million in new audit fees for the year 2016, which is the highest among the major global and national firms in the US.

Non-Big Four Performance(US):

  • BDO holds the highest SEC audit client wins in 2016 with the highest net client gain count of 10 and bringing approximately $13 million in new audit fees which is second to PwC
  • Other non-big four firms such as Crowe Horwath and RSM have won a net of three and five clients respectively in 2016. These firms were also in the top five net audit fee wins list followed by BDO

Leading Audit Companies in Germany

  • For FY 2016,revenue growth of Big four companies in Germany surpassed accounting industry growth of 5 percent and forecasted big four revenue growth of 10 percent in the region. Big four revenue growth was primary driven by 22 percent sales growth of Deloitte
  • In terms of revenue, PwC is the market leader among the Germany's Big Four, followed by KPMG, EY and Deloitte. In Germany, among the 160 companies listed on four German stock exchanges(DAX, MDAX,SDAX and TecDAX), more than 140 companies are audited by Big Four



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