Eleven out of the 100 companies listed on the FTSE MIB and the FTSE Italia Midcap changed their auditors from 2016 to 2017, and seven of those companies saw their audit fees decrease.
The transposition of the European Audit Reform was finalized in Italy with the adoption of the Legislative Decree n. 135 of July 17, 2016 with the new rules effective on August 5, 2016. Mandatory firm rotation is required after nine years for auditing companies and seven years for individual statutory auditors. As shown in the table below, seven of the eleven auditor changes were replacing an auditor with a tenure of nine years.
PwC gained six clients and lost one. EY gained one client and lost five. KPMG broke even with one gain and one loss, and Deloitte gained three clients and lost four.
On average for companies that changed their auditor, audit + audit related fees decreased by 5% from 2016 to 2017.
In the table above, seven of the eleven companies saw a decrease in audit + audit related fees by an average of 43% between 2016 and 2017, ranging between a 26% and 56% decrease. The four companies that saw their fees increase did so by an average of 61%, ranging between a 7% and 112% increase.
Now to compare these averages with the companies that did not change their auditors between 2016 and 2017. Of the 89 companies without an auditor change, 61 saw an increase of fees by 17.7%, and 23 saw a decrease of fees by 17.6%. Three companies saw no change to their fees. Of note, two companies were not included in the analysis since they were newly listed on the Indices in 2017 (Carel Industries SpA [CRL] and Gima TT SpA [GIMA]).
On average, the companies that changed their auditor saw an overall decrease of 5% for audit + audit related fees and an increase of 37% for non-audit fees. Companies with the same auditor saw an increase of 8% for audit + audit related fees and an increase of 37% for non-audit fees. In total, fees increased by 13.8% for those companies that switched auditor and 15.2% for those that did not.
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