Largest 5,000 charities spent £62m on auditing fees last year, report says

A survey by the financial data website Charity Financials shows that the Wellcome Trust and Nuffield Health each paid auditors £300,000 in the last accounting year


The UK’s largest 5,000 charities spent a total of almost £62m on auditing fees last year, new research shows.

Figures from the financial analysis website Charity Financials show that the Wellcome Trust and Nuffield Health each spent £300,000 in auditing fees in the last year that they had filed accounts.

The website’s Charity Audit Spotlight report is based on figures from 934 auditing firms and includes charities with annual expenditure greater than £1.56m or total funds or net assets totalling more than £3.2m.

The figures show that the largest 5,000 charities – excluding housing associations, academies and independent schools – spent £61.8m on auditing fees in the last year for which accounts were available.

The report also shows that charities tend to change their auditors every four years, but a fifth have kept the same one for the past decade. On average, there are up to 409 changes, or about 8 per cent of charities switching auditors every year.

The report says that 55 per cent of auditing firms have only one charity client among the top 5,000, whereas only 2 per cent of auditors overall represented half of the top 5,000 charities in the UK.

The auditing firm Baker Tilly holds the top spot for the number of charity clients helped, totalling 294 organisations or 6 per cent of the market share. Crowe Clarke Whitehill tops the table by auditing fees received, earning £5.4m from 250 clients.

Mark Pincher, data and development manager of Charity Audit Spotlight, said he was surprised by the number of charities that stayed with the same adviser for many years.

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