Sarbox audit cost drop by nearly half

A report by an economic consulting firm in the US has revealed that audit
costs have dropped dramatically in the last year as companies put more efficient
processes in place.

The report by CRA International found that the average costs for 58 Fortune
1000 companies dropped 44% last year, to $4.8m (£2.7m), higher than the 42%
predicted by the consulting firm.

Gregory Bell, a group vice president at CRA International, said the biggest
reason for the decline was the learning curve effect. ‘This is their second year
working under Sarbanes-Oxley, so it makes sense [public companies] realized
significant efficiencies from handling it the second time around.’

The study also found that the 66 publicly traded companies surveyed (with
market capitalization between $75m (£42m) and $700m (£393m) saw a smaller
decrease in costs.

Compliance costs dropped 31%, to $860,000 (£483,000) last year against an
expected drop of 39%, WebCPA reported.

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