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SEC Audits

Our Approach

Armanino is a top 25 firm in the nation. When companies look to make a switch from a Big 4, they often times have the misperception that moving to a smaller firm increases their audit risk. In reality, making the switch to Armanino for your SEC audits actually decreases your company’s audit risk:

Higher Audit Quality
Your risk of restatement increases if your accounting firm doesn’t ask the right questions and perform a careful, accurate audit. Public company accounting oversight board (PCAOB) inspections are a standard measure of auditor competence, and the inspection failure rates are eye-opening. Armanino’s most recent PCAOB inspection report was issued in 2015. This was the third consecutive PCAOB report the firm received with a zero percent deficiency rate since 2010. These results are a testament to the quality with which we address our client engagements.

Superior Service, Lower Fees
Many of Armanino’s dedicated SEC Audit Partners have more than 10 years of previous experience at a Big 4 firm, so we know how they operate and why we’re a superior audit choice for smaller companies. From the little things—returning your phone calls right away—to the big things—like taking the time to find you the most advantageous accounting solutions to your revenue recognition issues and other needs—we’re able to provide this superior service for significantly lower fees. Armanino, for example, typically charges 65% to 75% of what a national firm bills, while offering the same breadth and depth of services. What’s your company’s fee-to-value ratio?

(Non)Impact on Stock Prices
Fear of a negative market reaction is often the thing that prevents a public company from firing its Big Four auditor. A look at market data, however, shows that this fear is unfounded. We examined a cross-section of companies that switched to a non-Big 4 auditor, and tracked their stock price before and after their 8-K filing. The switch had little or no negative impact on share prices, and in some cases stock prices even rose.

Audit Services

  • Our deep experience in SEC audit requirements, SEC filings (10-K, 10-Q, 8-K) and disclosures allows us to guide you through the painstaking process of preparing for a successful SEC audit.
  • Armanino’s scalable audit methodology, including efficient, integrated audit design was developed with our clients in mind.
  • As your SEC audit partner, we offer in-field participation of your engagement partner and manager.
  • A local audit partner means local decision making and quicker resolution of accounting issues.
  • Our SEC audits feature our integrated income tax & IT audit approach, giving you peace of mind about your financial representations and information security protocols.
  • Armanino’s auditors and audit partners have expertise in key technology accounting areas including:
      -  Revenue recognition (multiple-element & collaborative arrangements)
      -  Equity (stock based compensation, warrants, convertible debt instruments)
      -  Valuation of intangible assets, including Goodwill
  • If you are a pre-IPO company, our SEC auditors can assist with S-1 filing preparation.



Mattson Technology

We appointed Armanino as our auditors on April 15, 2014.  They started work on our Q1 on April 20, 2014. They made our transition from PwC very smooth.  Their team has shown a focus of auditing what matters most in a very efficient way.

We’ve found Matt Perreault and Mike Boulton (Partner and Senior Manager) to be hyper-responsive, jumping on conference calls well beyond normal business hours to brainstorm issues, enabling us to react quickly and think through accounting consequences, letting us focus on real business issues.

J. Michael Dodson
CFO, Mattson Technology


Armanino team took a proactive approach before and after the Thoma Bravo acquisition, helping us with:

  • Planned mid-month close process validation
  • Stub period reporting
  • Purchase accounting
  • Creating a new merger company
  • Accounting for carry stock awards and income taxes

Their active involvement & collaborative team approach helped us stay ahead of the curve, enabling us to anticipate and meet Thoma Bravo’s reporting requirement.

Robert Knauf

Sigma Designs

The company was growing and investors were beginning to see results. But when it came to our stock option plan and losing status with the SEC, we were running out of options. If Armanino had not stepped in, we would have lost a lot more than just stock options. Armanino really represents what it means to be a real audit partner.

Thinh Tran
President, CEO & Co-Founder, Sigma Designs


Aqua Metals

Armanino has been a trusted partner throughout our IPO process, which gave us confidence we wouldn’t have any last minute surprises as we went through the SEC filing and review process.

Thomas Murphy
CFO and Co-Founder, Aqua Metals

Other Services

Armanino has been auditing public companies for more than 20 years. And, with the stricter requirements in Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), our firm expanded the work provided to SEC registrants. We have served over 100 public registrants in three additional distinct ways:

  1. SOX Internal Control Documentation and Testing: Frequently referred by Big 4 auditors to their clients to oversee this effort
  2. Income Tax Compliance, Planning and Structuring: Unrivalled depth of international tax capabilities and extensive experience in the specifics of various foreign tax jurisdictions
  3. Consulting Services: Assistance with a broad range of issues including IT systems, governance, risk and compliance (GRC), and financial advisory services such as technical accounting and transaction support




2020 SEC Audit Fee Survey

Armanino has compiled and analyzed more than 600 California-based public companies’ revenues and audit fees over the past three years to provide you with a tool to quickly compare your audit fees to those of your p ...

Public Companies: Should You Consider Changing Auditors to Cut Costs?

With cash flow now paramount, public companies paying high fees for SEC audits may be in a position to realize significant savings by switching auditors.

2019 SEC Audit Fee Survey

Armanino has compiled and analyzed more than 600 California-based public companies’ revenues and audit fees over the past three years to provide you with a tool to quickly compare your audit fees to those of your p ...

How XBRL Benefits Companies, Large and Small

Investors and accounting professionals have warned the SEC against exempting small companies from the requirement to add interactive data to their financial statements using eXtensible Business Reporting Language.

Global Convergence Project: U.S. GAAP Is Alive and Well

The SEC and FASB have been hesitant to relinquish control over accounting rules and adopt a more principles-based regime under IFRS compared to existing GAAP.

How often should public companies issue financial statements?

In August, President Trump tweeted in favor of a six-month reporting system to replace the three-month quarterly and annual filing requirements that U.S. public companies have followed for years. This article describes S ...

2018 SEC Audit Fee Survey

Armanino's SEC Audit Practice Lead Matt Perreault compares public company audit fees, sorted by revenue, paid to regional, national and Big 4 external auditors during 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Are You Ready for the Changes to the Auditor’s Report?

The SEC will soon require auditors to issue expanded reports for public companies, and the ASB is considering similar but voluntary guidance for nonpublic entities.

Loan Losses: It’s Time to Sync the FASB and SEC Guidance

SEC officials plan to update the interpretive guidance for estimating loan loss allowances to reflect the FASB’s updated credit loss standard, which takes effect in 2020.

This Is Not a Drill: How Nonprofits Can Remain Resilient in the Face of Disaster

Critical component of any disaster plan is flexibility. Making sure everyone has a chance to practice emergency protocols, help ensure your organization will remain strong and resilient.

SEC Proposes Changes to the Whistleblower Program

The SEC is proposing amendments to its guidelines to make the program more effective and efficient.

Auditor Independence: How the SEC Wants to Amend the Rules

The proposal targets situations in which auditors are borrowing funds or issuing debt to accumulate working capital.

How Does Your Company’s Pay Measure Up?

Starting this year, public companies must calculate and disclose a ratio comparing CEO compensation to the median compensation for other employees.

Materiality and Disclosures: FASB Decides to Maintain the Status Quo

The FASB has abandoned its plans to amend the definition of “materiality” and to give businesses more discretion about what to include in financial statement footnotes.

Disclosure Relief: SEC Redefining ‘Smaller Reporting Company’

The SEC is close to adopting rules revising its definition of a smaller reporting company, as a way to promote capital formation and reduce compliance costs.

Factoring Tax Reform Into Year-End Financial Statements

Multinational companies will be hit with the hardest as companies are required to reflect the new laws in the fourth quarter of 2017.

PCAOB Wants Non-GAAP Measures to Be Audited

Non-GAAP measures can provide added insight into a business when used to supplement GAAP performance data, but they can also mislead investors and artificially inflate a stock price.

AICPA Seeks to Align Audit Guidance with International Standards

The Auditing Standards Board plans to issue a proposal in November to expand the auditor’s report and focus more attention on financial statement disclosures.

FASB Proposes Changes to Reorganize Consolidation Guidance

The FASB would like to simplify the consolidated reporting guidance in U.S. GAAP by reorganizing its format and clarifying some of the content.

Lease Standard Concerns May Result in Delays for Some Industries

Many companies are worried about implementing the new lease standard on time. These concerns have persuaded the FASB to propose narrow-scope relief to utilities and oil and gas companies.

Plain English Reporting: Study Says Transparency Is the Best Policy

A recent study found that public companies benefit from using more readable language in disclosures, especially when reporting poor results.

Stronger Internal Controls Linked to Drop in Restatements

Restatements decreased in 2015 and 2016, likely due in part to the updated COSO framework and PCAOB oversight, which have strengthened internal controls.

New PCAOB Rule – Does It Really Benefit Investors?

The PCAOB has unanimously adopted a rule to expand the auditor’s report in regulatory filings and make it more useful for investors.

How Diverse is Your Boardroom?

U.S. companies have been slow to embrace board diversity, despite its benefits, so institutional investors are asking the SEC to beef up its diversity disclosure rules.

Update on Equity Crowdfunding

It's been nearly a year since the SEC began allowing private companies to raise funds from everyday investors. Here’s where things stand so far.

In Pursuit of Global Accounting Convergence

This article provides an overview of the history of the global convergence project, along with SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s hopes for the future of IFRS in the United States.

Will the PCAOB Expand the Audit Report?

The PCAOB is close to wrapping up a project to expand the auditor’s report to make it more useful for investors. We summarize the history of this project and the views of parties in ...

Are Non-GAAP Measures Helpful or Harmful?

The controversial trend that has led to backlash on the non-GAAP measures from business groups and regulators is explained.

Investors and Businesses at Odds Over Inventory Disclosures

The FASB is considering adding more detail to companies’ financial statement footnotes, while investors and businesses disagree about the pros and cons.

Redefining “Small” for Public Companies

Do you feel overwhelmed by the regulatory red tape that comes with being publicly traded? Relief may be in the works for some companies.