Charity sector audit fees increase £10m

17 Jun 19

The UK’s largest charities paid audit fees of £72.3m in 2017-18, a rise of £10.2m in just four years, according to an online data service. 

The Charity Audit Spotlight 2019 report, produced by Charity Financials earlier this month, showed that 33% of the UK’s top 5,000 charity organisations were hit by an increase in fees. Just under a half (44%) saw no change in fees and around a fifth (19%) saw a decrease. The rest either did not disclose the fee they paid or have only reported it for one year.

The latest data revealed that 43% of charities have not changed auditor within the last decade despite competition being strong – there are 797 firms that advise the UK’s top charities.

In total, there were 344 auditor changes in 2017-18.

The largest charity to change auditor was Nuffield Health, which paid a fee of £300k to Deloitte (its previous auditor was Grant Thornton). And the most expensive audit for a charity with an income below £1 million was £36k, paid by the Prudential Staff Charitable Trust to KPMG.

During the 2017-18 financial year, haysmacintyre secured the highest number of new clients, 25. Meanwhile, Crowe UK LLP netted the highest gain in fee income, worth £534k.

The top 10 auditor firms collectively earned £39.3m in fees, up from £39.1m the previous year, a figure that represents 55% of the total audit fees paid by the top 5,000 charities.

The fifth Charity Audit Spotlight report also showed that Crowe UK LLP remains in the lead when it comes to auditor fee income, earning £6.4m, giving it an 8.9% market share. Second is BDO LLP which earned £4.8m, followed by haysmacintyre, which earned £4.5m in auditor fees.

Currently, firms with the highest number of clients are haysmacintyre with 303, Crowe UK LLP with 271 and RSM with 213.

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