The accounting support fees imposed on corporations by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board will be slashed by nearly 20 percent next year, under the organization's recently released 2006 operating budget.In announcing the new budget plan for the coming year, PCAOB officials said that the board will charge publicly traded companies a total of $109.3 million in accounting support fees during 2006 - down from the $136.1 million assessed in 2005.

The fees imposed during 2005 generated more income than the PCAOB needed to conduct inspections of accounting firms during the past year, and the board decided to use the resulting excess working capital reserve to lower accounting support fees in 2006.

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