Amount paid in audit fees by top 5,000 charities rises by more than £2m

A new report from the data firm Charity Financials also shows Crowe Clark Whitehill earned the most in fees in the past year

The overall amount paid out in audit fees by the top 5,000 charities has increased by 4.4 per cent, according to a new report.

The data provider Charity FinancialsCharity Audit Spotlight for 2017, which is based on scrutiny of the latest accounts for the 5,000 largest UK charities, shows that audit fees cost them a total of £69.4m.

In comparison, last year’s Charity Audit Spotlight showed that the UK’s largest charities paid more than £67m in audit fees, which was itself a 2.5 per cent increase on the previous year. 

The report found that the audit firm Crowe Clark Whitehill has the largest market share, earning £5.7m in fees and accounting for 8.2 per cent of the market.

PricewaterhouseCoopers earned more than £4.6m in fees from charities and BDO earned almost £4.5m, the report says.

But rival audit firm haysmacintyre had the most charity clients in the top 5,000 with 263, followed by CCW with 240 and RSM with 236.

Haysmacintyre also gained the most new clients for the second year running, the report shows, with 30 charities appointing the firm and paying fees worth a combined £449,000.

The report says that while 328 charities changed auditor in their latest set of accounts, 27 per cent of the top 5,000 charities have not changed their auditor in the past decade.

The largest charity to change auditor was the Wellcome Trust – which is the UK’s richest charity – which paid Deloitte £300,000 to audit its latest set of accounts, the report says.

PwC audits the largest amount of charity income, the report shows, with £5.65bn scrutinised by the firm this year.

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