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An alleged practice in which auditors compete for clients by reducing their fees for statutory audits. The lower audit fees would be compensated by the auditor carrying out highly lucrative non-audit work, such as consultancy and tax advice, for the client. It is difficult to assess how widespread the practice is in an economic climate in which competition has pushed down audit fees, but a number of well-publicized examples suggest that it has been taking place since the 1980s. See independence of auditors.

Subjects: Accounting.

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