Public Company Audit Fees Increase by a Median 1.3 Percent in 2016 Audit Year Per FERF Research Survey

This year’s research shows that by implementing best practices internally and alongside auditors, fee increases can be mitigated.

Financial Executives Research Foundation (FERF), the independent, non-profit research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI), today released the findings of its annual Audit Fee Survey Report.

FERF’s 2017 Audit Fee Survey Report found that the rise in public company and non-profit audit fees is slowing, while private companies saw an uptick in their fee increases during the 2016 audit season.

Public companies reported a median increase of 1.3 percent, compared with 1.6 percent in 2015. Private companies reported a median increase of 3.7 percent, compared with 2.9 percent for 2015 audits. Non-profit respondents reported a median increase of 1.6 percent, compared with 2.3 percent in 2015.

Survey responses suggest companies were able to mitigate fee increases by improving internal controls, planning and preparation. These improvements allowed auditors to review transactions during the course of the year and the companies to negotiate rate increases that were fair to both parties given the work involved. Changing external auditors also helped mitigate fees.

Additional key findings include:


  • Broader SEC data compiled by MyLogicIQ shows that median increases fell across all types of filers. Large accelerated filers had increases of 3.4 percent vs. 4.2 percent, accelerated filers had increases of 2.5 percent vs. 3.97 percent, and non-accelerated filers had increases of 2.4 percent versus 2.7 percent. Smaller filers had increases of 2.4 percent versus 2.7 percent.
  • Overall, 2,120 registrants (33 percent) reported an increase in their audit fees, while 36 percent (2,296 registrants)…

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