IPO Accounting and Legal Fees: 2016 Update

The average accounting and legal fees disclosed by IPO companies ticked up slightly in 2016. Average accounting fees increased 24% to $0.95 million and average legal fees increased 15% to $1.69 million. This represents a reversal of the downward trend that was apparent from 2013 to 2016.


As indicated in the chart above, average accounting fees have been relatively volatile from year to year, fluctuating between a low of $0.64 million in 2011 and a high of $1.16 million in 2013.

Average legal fees are slightly more consistent, fluctuating from a low of $1.32 million in 2008 to a high of $1.85 million in 2013.


The total proceeds from IPOs in 2016 continued the steep downward trajectory since the 2014 peak (thanks in large part to the historic Alibaba IPO). U.S. IPOs raised about $24 billion in 2016, the least since 2008, and consistent with the lower number of IPOs occurring in 2016.acctfees


As a percentage of total proceeds from IPOs, total accounting and legal fees have steadily increased from 2008 to 2016. As indicated in the chart above, this took a dramatic downfall in 2015, which continued into 2016 reaching 1.04%.

Audit Analytics tracks IPOs, auditor changes, audit fees, private placements, and many other items related to the audit, regulatory, and disclosure landscape. Please contact us for more information.