Audit Fees Continue Upward Trajectory in UK

Quality, rather than a race for a reduction in fees and the blatant “low-balling” of recent years appears to be the dominant trend in the UK audit market, according to the latest Accountancy Age Top 50+50 Survey, supported by Wolters Kluwer.

“The upper tier of the market continues its ride on the audit merry-go-round as a direct result of changes wrought by the mandatory audit of listed companies, while the upward spiral in audit thresholds – liberating smaller companies from the shackles of an audit, but reducing potential fee income for firms – also deepened its impact,” Accountancy Age reported. According to the latest figures, audit fees for the top 50 firms, based on 37 submissions, increased slightly to £3.8bn from £3.7bn in 2013 and £3.4bn in 2012. The Big Four firms of PwC, Deloitte, KPMG and EY nudged up their fee income to £2.78bn from £2.7bn, while the top six firms including BDO and Grant Thornton reported a 3% to hit £3.06bn from £2.97bn in the previous year.

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