Many practitioners have told me that the fees for audits are up. It is probably because of a number of reasons. In the case of the Big Four, it can be attributed to the spinoff of their consulting units. Their audit practices can no longer be used as loss leaders to help sell higher-priced consulting services. Rather, they must once again be structured as profit centers.

Sarbanes-Oxley is also having its impact on firms. Audits are much more complicated as auditors must review if a company is in compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley.

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