Audit Fees – An Update From Ames Research Group

Christopher Ames at Ames Research Group is updating his statistics for audit fees paid during fiscal 2007 and there are some big ups and downs.

Some companies, like CVS Caremark, were big losers, now paying astronomically higher fees. Others saw a huge drop. 

There are usually very good reasons for these dramatic changes. In Caremark’s case,  they changed auditors from KPMG to EY. EY then had the opportunity KPMG hadn’t to hit them with the risk-based fee they deserve.  
KPMG probably got tired of Caremark getting in trouble over and over and over again.

But most interesting to me were the preliminary statistics, by firm:

Average Fees Change, FY06 to FY07 (Companies over $500 million)

Auditor                 Avg. Change
Grant Thornton 12.4%
Moss Adams 10.5%
D&T 10.3%
E&Y 8.9%
Dixon Hughes 7.0%
Crowe Chizek & Co. 4.9%
KPMG 3.0%
Porter Keadle Moore 2.7%
PwC 0.1%
Battelle & Battelle -3.7%
McGladrey & Pullen -6.4%
BDO Seidman -10.3%

Stay tuned to Ames’ site for updates as data is compiled.