Because all joint-stock companies in Sweden need to have an auditor we thought it would be
interesting to study how companies choose their auditor and which factors influence their
choice. Therefore our research question is:
“Which factors influence joint-stock companies in their choice of auditor?”
The main purpose of the study is to get a better and deeper understanding of the subject, in
order to clarify the purpose we established three sub purposes:
• Establish which determinants that play a significant role in a company’s choice of
• Investigate if there are any differences between companies of different sizes.
• Research how auditors perceive the relationship with their clients.
We have performed a study with a subjective view of reality and to get a deeper
understanding for the subject of our thesis we chose a qualitative research method. The
purpose of this study is to get a better understanding and therefore the hermeneutic point of
view is the most suitable alternative because it brings attention to understanding and realistic
thinking. During the study we have done a total of eight interviews, six with joint-stock
companies of different sizes managed by the owner and two interviews with auditors, both
working in a “Big Four” audit firm. After the interview we compared the collected data with
our chosen theories to see if there are any patterns that we can draw a conclusion from. This is
representative for the deductive approach of our study.
Our study shows that recommendations and personal relationships are the most important
determining factors for a company when choosing an auditor. Recommendations from friends
and family are the most common way to get in contact with an auditor.
Prior to the study we believed that companies of various sizes would have different opinions
of which factors that influence their choice of auditor but the study shows that there are no
significant differences in how the companies choose their auditor.
The auditors’ perceptions of what expectations the companies have on their auditors overall
seem to agree with what the companies expressed during the interviews. However, a majority
of the respondents in the researched companies want their auditor to be more pro-active and
knowledgeable about the company.
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2007. , 54 p.