In a good news/bad news scenario for many publicly traded companies, a recent poll of financial executives showed that while the costs of audit fees rose in year-over-year comparisons, there was a marked decline in Sarbanes-Oxley 404 compliance expenses.According to a recent survey of 185 companies conducted by Financial Executives International, larger companies, or accelerated public filers — which comprised about 90 percent of the respondents — spent an average of $3.6 million on total audit fees last year, up nearly 2 percent from 2006.

However, that was accompanied by a decline of 5.4 percent in auditor attestation fees to an average of $846,000, a figure that represented roughly 23.7 percent of the filer’s total annual audit fees.

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