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Audit sampling: A qualitative study on the role of statistical and non-statistical sampling approaches on audit practices in Sweden
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

PURPOSE: The two approaches to audit sampling; statistical and nonstatistical have been examined in this study. The overall purpose of the study is to explore the current extent at which statistical and nonstatistical sampling approaches are utilized by independent auditors during auditing practices. Moreover, the study also seeks to achieve two additional purposes; the first is to find out whether auditors utilize different sampling techniques when auditing SME´s (Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise) and big companies and the second is to find out some common selection methods that are used by auditors for selecting statistical or nonstatistical audit samples during audit sampling practices.


METHOD: The population that has been investigated consists of professional auditors residing in Umeå-Sweden.Data for the study was collected by conducting semi-structured interviews and convenient sampling; a non-probability sampling technique was used for respondent’s selection. An interviewed guide was sent to respondents in advance with the objective of giving them the opportunity to have both mental and psychological preparations prior to each interview scheduled date. The semi-structured interview technique was adopted because it was a suitable approach to extract valuable information and in-depth explanations from auditors about the current extent of the use of statistical audit sampling and nonstatistical audit sampling during auditing practices. Ultimately, the selected respondents actively participated in which they thoroughly expressed their views and experiences about audit sampling, statistical audit sampling, and nonstatistical audit sampling.


RESULTS: Statistical audit sampling and nonstatistical audit sampling were found to be used most often by auditors when auditing the financial statements of big companies compare to SME´s where nonstatistical audit sampling is most often used. Therefore, both statistical and nonstatistical samplings are in dominant utilization by auditors in Sweden. Audit samples are selected through random selection method and systematic selection methods when using statistical audit sampling and for nonstatistical audit sampling; items are selected by the use of professional judgment. However, auditors in Sweden are more inclined with the use of random selection method for statistical audit sampling and their professional judgment for nonstatistical audit sampling. The main reasons for the auditors using both statistical audit sampling and nonstatistical audit sampling are to minimize risks and to guarantee high quality audit. The conclusion of the study was that auditors in Sweden use both statistical and nonstatistical audit sampling techniques when auditing big companies, use nonstatistical audit sampling when auditing SME´s, select samples using random selection method and systematic selection method for statistical audit sampling and for nonstatistical audit sampling, items are selected within the parameters of their professional judgment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
Audit sampling, Statistical Audit Sampling, Nonstatistical Audit Sampling.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-45258OAI: diva2:428072
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-06-29 Created: 2011-06-29 Last updated: 2011-06-29Bibliographically approved

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