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BOSTON — Corporations’ Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance spending costs with outside advisers climbed in 2006 while internal compliance costs dropped, according to Foley & Lardner’s fifth annual survey of Sarbanes-Oxley costs. Higher audit fees, board compensation and legal fees have boosted Sarbanes-Oxley spending. Although compliance spending has decreased since the peak years of 2002 and 2003, public companies with revenues under $1 billion spent $200,000 for legal compliance last year, compared with $131,000 in fiscal 2005. Public companies with more than $1 billion in revenue spent $455,000 on legal fees in fiscal 2006 compared with $226,000 in fiscal 2005. Foley & Lardner attributes last year’s uptick to executive compensation disclosure rule changes. The survey concluded that being a public company costs $12.49 million for companies with over $1 billion in sales and an average of $2.8 million for companies that fall under that threshold. Foley & Lardner sent 10,000 e-mail surveys and collected responses from 93 public companies, including 36 with annual revenue over $1 billion and 53 with less than $1 billion in sales.

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