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Friday, June 17, 2005

Sarbanes-Oxley hits auditor relations

The soaring cost of complying with US regulation is poisoning relationships between companies and their auditors, according to the latest study on the impact of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation.

Research based on public filings and polling confirmed fears that the cost of maintaining a public listing continues to mushroom up 45 per cent on last year for large companies due mainly to rising audit fees.

But the third annual study by Chicago law firm Foley & Lardner also revealed another less-anticipated side-effect: growing resentment towards the accounting profession and falling levels of trust and co-operation.

Confidential responses from the 147 US companies which took part show anger and suspicion towards the independent accountants paid to check their books.

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