Impacted by the exorbitant costs of Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance, the average audit fees for companies with less than $1 billion in revenue skyrocketed 96 percent, to roughly $1 million from 2003 to 2004, according to a study by the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP, based here.

The third annual F&L survey also found that the price tag of corporate governance reforms has driven up the costs of being a public company some 33 percent.

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