Barrington introduced the industry’s first-ever benchmarking survey for mutual fund audit fees in 2012. At the request of participating firms, we repeated the survey in 2013, and then reverted to our normal bi-annual (odd year) schedule. The Fund Audit Fee Survey will next be run in early 2017.
Fund companies and the Audit Committees of Boards of Trustees continue to recognize the worth of the survey in comparing their audit and tax costs to the industry.
Fund companies and boards can obtain an accurate comparison of audit fees paid and predicted costs …
The survey seeks to answer this central question, “Are overall audit fees for the fund company within a reasonable range of what other fund companies are paying based on a relative complexity factor?”
To answer that question, we developed a unique predictive model to examine and understand audit costs and cost drivers for dissimilar funds and fund complexes. Our model, which uses approximately 9,000 data points that we have accumulated since the survey’s introduction, is exceptionally correlated with predicted costs.
… and compare the reasonableness of their firm’s audit fees with that of their peers.
Firms can assess the appropriateness of both their overall and individual fund audit fees.
Independent trustees can better understand the underlying cost drivers for fund audit fees.
Audit Committees and fund management use the data from this survey to confirm or adjust the level of audit fees they negotiate.
The survey has launched mid-January 2017; we are looking to expand its breadth to include collective investment trusts, the increasingly popular product structure for qualified retirement plans.