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Restrictive fees prove barrier to AIM-listed audit, AA poll finds

EXCESSIVE fees are restricting the ability of mid-tier accounting firms to audit AIM-listed companies, a poll of Accountancy Age readers has found.

Mid-tier firms have hit out at what they believe are restrictive and prohibitive financial hurdles to entering the listed audit market, including excessive institute fees based on an “unfair matrix” that favours very large and very small firms but “disproportionately” penalises the mid-tier.

A poll of 43 Accountancy Age readers found that 81% felt the ICAEW’s current fee structure means undertaking audit work is simply not worth it. A further 11% said the fees were restrictive but that other financial hurdles were equally as important.

In response to the groundswell of opinion voiced over the fee structure for listed audits, Vernon Soare, ICAEW’s executive director of professional standards, said: “Our regulatory fee structure is something that we keep under regular review. We need to ensure that we are able to meet our regulatory responsibilities as a Recognised Supervisory Body under the Companies Act while being alive to the commercial pressures and constraints of our members.”

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