The Big Question – Auditors charge too much

Auditors are abusing their position in the business community, with nearly 50% of finance directors believing their auditor charges them too much.

Widespread boardroom dissatisfaction over auditing fees emerged in this week’s Accountancy Age Big Question survey, carried out in conjunction with Reed Accountancy Personnel.

Some 48% of more than 200 finance directors questioned said their auditors’ fees were too high.

The main concern of the FDs was that auditors were failing to justify annual increases in their fees.

Paresh Samat of SBJ Employment and Safety Services, which is audited by Deloitte & Touche, said: ‘Their charge rate remains very high for audit and consultation. It is difficult to know why the price goes up each year.’

Another FD, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the larger auditors played on their brand names to hike fees. ‘Some firms charge too much just because of their name,’ he pointed out.

But a sizeable 35% of FDs said they were happy with auditing charges.

Many argued that auditors had to work harder to keep up with the increased reporting requirements faced by companies.

‘The increasing amount of disclosure required in company accounts means auditors have to undertake more work,’ explained one FD.

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