In a world where distances have become shorter and shorter, boundaries are to some extent disappearing and are creating space for integration and globalisation. One significant example of the integration process is the foundation of the European Union.
The need to improve the economical development within the European Union has lead to the elaboration of a complex assemble of international standards to regulate the way companies should present their economical situation. The IAS /IFRS standards must be applied in all quoted companies from January 2005; and at the same time the four biggest auditing agencies in the world are characterized by their biggest employment session since many years. When it comes to the implementation of the new standards, companies and auditors have experienced many difficulties in learning how to deal with purchased goodwill and financial instruments.
What practical adjustments the introduction of the new European standards has brought in the work of auditors and how does their adaptation process look like from an educational perspective?
The purpose of our study is to understand what practical adjustments auditors have made in order to adapt to the new standards when it comes to the verification of financial statements, in particular for goodwill and financial instruments. We will try to achieve this understanding trough the analysis of the learning context behind the transition process in four different auditing agencies. Together with this, we want to analyse in what extend the complexity of the new rules influenced the phenomenon of high recruitment. In order to answer our purpose we have chosen to carry out seven qualitative interviews with public certified auditors.
We believe that knowledge about reality can be achieved through the interpretation and deep analysis of different information and for this reason we argue for a hermeneutical scientific ideal.
Our theoretical frame is important to both understand the theoretical differences between the old and the new standards, but also to have an overview of the profession of auditors. We also present theories behind organisational learning; and we create a background to understand the different factors behind the higher demand.
Our empirical information is presented in different categories that we identified partially through the study of the theoretical frame, and partially through the discussion with our respondents in semi structured interviews.
Our analysis is both linked to the theoretical frame, but it also tries to look at different aspects directly from the empirical material collected.
The result of our research shows that the organisational learning in auditing agencies is very effective, partially because this profession is used to continuous changes. Auditors have experienced several practical modifications in their way of verifying financial statements, which depends both on the standards, but also on the relationship with the clients. Finally we discovered that the influence of the complexity of the standard on the higher recruitment is not significant if seen as a single factor.
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2007. , 79 p.
auditing, goodwill, financial Instruments, IAS/IFRS standards, adaptation process