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The public interest paradox of the Swedish auditing profession.: A quantitative study of potential effects of the Swedish implementation of ISA 700 (revised) and ISA ”
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

During the last decade, there has been severe critique directed at the auditing profession regarding its necessity and accuracy. Auditors have been accused of neglecting their duty to the public interest, which is overshadowed by their financial dependence on the audited companies. In light on several large audit failures, the users of the audit report have demanded more information be released regarding the company and the audit process. In response to this, several standard setting bodies have released new regulatory suggestions regarding the audit report. Among the revised regulations that are relevant to Sweden are the ISA 700 (revised) and the newly created ISA 701, both of which become effective starting December 2016. FAR, the Swedish Professional Institution for Authorized Accountants and Auditors, have expressed concerns regarding the effect of the implementation of the Key Audit Matters in combination with the Swedish confidentiality clause, by which auditors must abide. These revisions are meant to increase the informative value of the audit report for the users, where the main users of the audit report are non-professional investors. Due to this, along with lacking research on the topic of Swedish non-professional investors in this context, we have chosen to focus our thesis on the effects of the changes to the audit report in relation to the investment behavior of this specific group.

Research Question: How is the Swedish adaptation of ISA 700 (revised) and ISA 701 likely to impact the perceived value of the new audit report to young Swedish nonprofessional investors?

We have conducted an online questionnaire with an attached case, derived from a listed British company that has already made similar changes to their audit report format. Based on the responses of 100 young Swedish non-professional investors, we found that the new changes to the audit report, as we presented them, had positive effect on the young non-professional investors perception on the audit report. Of the respondents, 64% viewed the new audit report as significantly more informative than the current Swedish audit report. Both new information, in the form of the audit resolution paragraph, and useful information, in the form of the Key Audit Matters paragraph, statement of the audit firm, and movement of the audit opinion, was perceive by the respondents. In addition to this, we found that 63% of our sample would read the audit report in the future, as compared to 49% today. However, we are unsure of whether these positive effects will be observe following the Swedish implementation of the changes, due to FAR and Swedish auditors hesitation toward the Key Audit Matters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 99 p.
Keyword [en]
Auditor's Report, Non-professional Investors, ISA 700 (revised), ISA 701, Public Interest, Key Audit Matters
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-122667OAI: diva2:940407
Educational program
International Business Program
Available from: 2016-06-27 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2016-06-28Bibliographically approved

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