Audit fees for the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed companies have significantly dropped by approximately US$15 million according to a latest research.

According to a research conducted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe on fees being charged by accounting firms to inspect ZSE-listed companies’ books, there is a huge drop from the 2012 figure of US$25 million,    attributable to the prevailing macro-economic environment notes, the institute’s president Mr Martin Makaya.

For now, there are no immediate worries over the quality of audits by firms.

However, securities regulators say they will become wary if a drop in auditor fees was accompanied by a decline in the number of hours that the firms committed to their operations.

Given the prevailing economic environment, there are strong suspicions that auditors are proposing a lower fee for the initial year audit as an incentive to win business.

Going forward, these are the issues which the Institute of Chartered Accountants says it will be critically looking into, to ensure that audits on local firms conform to the set standards of international financial reporting.