AA study: Total audit fees rise in 2021
Total audit fees increased in fiscal year 2021 as the number of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registrants reached its highest total in six years, according to the latest annual report.
Audit Analytics’s 20th annual review of audit and non-audit fee trends at public companies found total audit fees grew 3.3 percent from 2020, to $18.9 billion. Primarily driving the increase was the larger number of registrants at 7,133, the most since 7,150 were included in 2015.
New accounting standards for revenue, leases, and credit losses have become effective in the past three years, requiring significant changes to registrants’ accounting and financial reporting processes and controls. These changes increase audit complexity and require more audit hours (and higher audit fees).