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Audit fees rise 16% in 2004

Audit fees in 2004 rose 16% in 2004 to £274.4 million but audit still counts for less than half of the fees charged to FTSE100 clients according to a survey carried out by Financial Director magazine and professional services firm Resources Connection.


Ernst & Young registered the biggest jump in audit fees, up 46% to £37.8 million but while other fees fell sharply, 21% to £357 million, they still outweigh money taken from audit. 


According to the survey, PwC brought in the most auditor fees from the FTSE350 - £355.8 million accounting for 40%, followed by KPMG with 25%.


Shell has had the most expensive audit of 2004 at a cost of £19.4 million; other costs added £14.5 million. Supermarket chain Morrisons had the most cost-effective audit  - KPMG charged just £28 per £1 million turnover. The total bill amounted to £140,000. In comparison investment group 3i was charged £3, 042 by Ernst & Young.


Other findings of the survey include:


      -         the average sign-off time for audit in 2004 compared to 2003 remains 59 days.  Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca had the quickest audit sign-off at 29 days by KPMG while Shell's audit took 143 days to sign off.

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