Seven commercial banks listed on the Nigerian Exchange Group paid a total of N1.39 billion to auditing firms in the first quarter of 2023.
In Africa’s biggest economy, publicly listed companies are legally obliged to subject their accounts to scrutiny and audit by independent auditors such as PwC, KPMG, EY, and Deloitte, generally called “the Big Four”.
This requirement exists to ensure that external auditors assess the companies’ financial records without any bias or personal relationships that might cloud their judgment.
In exchange for their services, audit firms receive payment from companies. Some businesses undergo financial audits twice a year, while others engage in annual audits.
BusinessDay findings showed several factors influence the audit fees charged; these factors include the company’s size, industry, corporate risk, profitability, and duration of the audit, among others.
The banks surveyed include GTCO, Zenith, Stanbic IBTC, Fidelity, Union and Wema.
Access Holding Company paid N606 million to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), making the tier-one bank the top bank in terms of audit costs for the first quarter of 2023.
This amount represents a 41 percent increase compared to the N427 million paid in the same quarter of 2022.
GTCO incurred N212 million as audit fees in the first quarter of 2023, slightly higher than the N298 million spent in the same quarter of 2022, indicating a 1.31 percent increase.
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Zenith Bank spent N212 million on audit fees in the first quarter of 2023. However, this amount decreased by 33.12 percent from the N317 million recorded in the same quarter of 2022.
Stanbic IBTC Holdings
Stanbic IBTC’s audit fees for the first quarter of 2023 amounted to N136 million, representing an 18.3 percent increase compared to the N115 million recorded in the same quarter of 2022.
Union Bank experienced a significant 71.87 percent increase in audit fees, reaching N55 million in the first quarter of 2023, compared to N32 million in the same quarter of 2022.
Fidelity Bank witnessed a 4.35 percent increase in audit fees, with N48 million recorded in the first quarter of 2023, compared to N46 million in the same quarter of 2022.
Wema Bank, on the other hand, saw a 50.15 percent decrease in audit fees, with N32.4 million in the first quarter of 2023, compared to N65 million in the same quarter of 2022.