Christoph Van der Elst

Informatieverstrekking over de opdrachten en vergoeding van de commissaris

WP 2005-01

This article studies the disclosure of information related to the external auditor in the annual reports and other company filings of Belgian listed corporations. First, the legal requirements are assessed. The Belgian law does not compel companies to disclose the audit fee. However, companies must identify the non audit services as well as the remuneration of the latter in the annual report. In 2002 Parliament introduced even more detailed rules related to the disclosure of non audit services and remuneration. Due to the absence of a statutory instrument, these rules are not yet applied. Next, the study presents facts and figures. 50% of the companies voluntarily disclose the statutory audit fee. On average the auditor receives 61.000 euro, although the median value is only 34.000 euro. Only 75% identify non audit services and disclose the fee for these services. The average fee for non audit services is 115.000 euro, the median is only 7.700. For a limited number of companies the ratio non audit fee/audit fee could be calculated. At company level the average is 1,6, the median 0,7. At group level the figures are 0,9 and 1,1. The paper concludes that investors need more information to assess the position of the Belgian auditor.