Washington (Oct. 3, 2003) -- A majority of large U.S. public companies responding to a survey by the General Accounting Office said that they were satisfied with their current auditor, while roughly half of those surveyed indicated that they had been with their current auditing firm for at least 10 years.

In a follow-up to its comprehensive July 30 study on accounting firm consolidation and its relationship to audit competition, the GAO polled 159 public corporations to elicit their views on audit fees, quality, independence and choice.

The majority of survey participants said that, in the event of an auditor change, they would not consider using a non-Big Four firm for reasons such as a need for auditors with technical skills, audit firm reputation and firm capacity.

However, 84 percent of the companies in the GAO poll said that they preferred a market with more audit firm choices. Only 12 percent of the participants said that they were dissatisfied with their current auditor.

In its July study, the GAO said that 78 percent of U.S. public companies, and 99 percent of public company annual sales, were audited by a Big Four firm.

-- WebCPA staff

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Accounting Today content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access