US companies have experienced a small increase
in audit fees in the past year, according to research foundation
Financial Executives International’s (FEI) annual audit fee

The survey of 270 executives found the average
external audit fee for a publicly-held company had risen by 5% to
$3.9m for fiscal year 2010/2011.

The FEI survey found 82% of public companies
use one of the Big Four accounting firms as their primary auditor,
with Deloitte the most popular.
Private company respondents said an average annual audit fees were
$231,200 in 2011, a 7% increase from the year prior.  

For companies with annual sales ranging $1bn
to $4.9bn, the average audit fees paid were $779,500, an increase
of 3 percent.

Meanwhile, 95% of all respondents were against
the mandatory audit firm rotation as proposed by the US Securities
and Exchange Commission.