Auditing Your Auditor

After nearly a decade of turmoil, companies have gained the advantage in negotiating with their auditors.

The top 10 audit fees paid in 2008

In the end, says Itkin, “I was interested in securing the same level of service at a lower cost, and we ultimately achieved a higher level of service and a lower cost.”

Auditing your auditor, it seems, is an engagement well worth undertaking.

Tim Reason is editorial director of CFO.


Custom Audit Fee Benchmarks

Do you know how your audit fees compare with those of companies like yours? A new online application from the editorial team of CFO provides a fast and accurate way to benchmark your audit fees against what your peers paid, over a three-year period.

Type in your company name (or industry and revenue size) to generate a peer group and, for a fee, the CFO Audit Fee Report will generate a customized, downloadable analysis. The CFO Audit Fee Report automatically identifies outliers that can skew results and are normally hidden among multiple filings, including restatements, management- or auditor-reported control failures, and auditor changes.

The report allows you to view the full list of companies and auditors in your peer group before you finalize your purchase. The final report includes the following:

Summary

Provides an immediate benchmark of what your company pays and how it compares with your selected peer group

Adjustments for Outliers

Analyzes how outlier events affect audit fees within your industry and peer group; provides a summary of outliers within your peer group; and allows you to exclude or include outliers from your overall analysis

Auditor Analysis

Analyzes what each auditor charges the companies in your peer group and how much those fees varied; estimates what each firm hypothetically would charge your company; and shows you each auditor’s market share within your peer group

Complete Data

Provides a complete list of the companies in your peer group, their individual audit firms, fees, and additional data used in the report analysis. CFO sources its data from Audit Analytics, a leading provider of audit-fee information.

To generate your report, or view a sample, click here.

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