£17.2m audit fee record

Among the audit fee information revealed by the survey is that the effort to sign-off in shorter time periods continues.

This year the Big Five knocked another day off FTSE-100 audit times, measuring from year end to the date of issuing the audit certificate. The average sign-off is now completed in 60 days while six companies had the books ticked off in fewer than 40 days.

Supermarkets lay claim to some of the cheapest audits while banks and oil companies paid out the largest amounts.

Remarkably the average audit fee has risen by 17% with mergers being the dominant factor causing the rise.

Non-audit fees to the FTSE-100 have risen 37% while Big Five firm Ernst & Young remains the fastest auditor.

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