According to some scholars auditors have divided duties (Jenkins and Lowe, 2011; Öhman, et al., 2006) because they must act in the interest of owners and external stakeholders and, at the same time, they must satisfy and maintain a functional working relationship with client firms’ management (Jenkins and Lowe, 2011; Sanchez, et al., 2007). As the role defined by the regulators and the one required by audit clients are partly in conflict, auditors must achieve a complex balance between their perceptions of the traditional and institutional function of attesting the fairness of financial statement information and their perceptions of the provision of services that the audited firms consider as useful and valuable (Sanchez, et al., 2007). Even if some studies have analysed some of the factors that affect auditors’ behaviours, it seems that is a lack of a systematic analysis of these factors and of how auditors’ perceive these factors and behave in order to perform their work in practice. Stemming from this and in order to answer to the call for qualitative studies in auditing (Power and Gendron, 2015), the aim of this study is to investigate which factors are perceived to affect auditors’ role and behaviour in the current business and legal environment and how they influence auditors’ role behaviour. To achieve this aim, a field study methodology has been adopted in order to compare different perspectives: the one of the audit clients and the one of the auditors themselves. The main findings are the following. Auditors’ role must be considered as a fluid and evolving concept, resulting from the continuous and variable process of coordination between different behaviours intended to fulfil divergent expectations expressed by the various role senders with which auditors interact. Moreover, auditors’ behaviour is affected by several factors: the risk of incur in legal liabilities, network’s expectations and client firms’ expectations. In addition, time dimension has a significant impact on auditors’ role assumption process. Over time, indeed, each factor affecting auditors’ role assume different strength, specificity and intensity, and this implies that the process of role assumption in the audit environment should be observed not only from a static perspective (i.e. which factors impact on auditors’ role behaviour), but also from a dynamic one (how factors affecting auditors’ role change over time and how auditors react to these changes).

Factors affecting the role of auditors in practice: a field study

DE SANTIS, FEDERICA
2016

Abstract

According to some scholars auditors have divided duties (Jenkins and Lowe, 2011; Öhman, et al., 2006) because they must act in the interest of owners and external stakeholders and, at the same time, they must satisfy and maintain a functional working relationship with client firms’ management (Jenkins and Lowe, 2011; Sanchez, et al., 2007). As the role defined by the regulators and the one required by audit clients are partly in conflict, auditors must achieve a complex balance between their perceptions of the traditional and institutional function of attesting the fairness of financial statement information and their perceptions of the provision of services that the audited firms consider as useful and valuable (Sanchez, et al., 2007). Even if some studies have analysed some of the factors that affect auditors’ behaviours, it seems that is a lack of a systematic analysis of these factors and of how auditors’ perceive these factors and behave in order to perform their work in practice. Stemming from this and in order to answer to the call for qualitative studies in auditing (Power and Gendron, 2015), the aim of this study is to investigate which factors are perceived to affect auditors’ role and behaviour in the current business and legal environment and how they influence auditors’ role behaviour. To achieve this aim, a field study methodology has been adopted in order to compare different perspectives: the one of the audit clients and the one of the auditors themselves. The main findings are the following. Auditors’ role must be considered as a fluid and evolving concept, resulting from the continuous and variable process of coordination between different behaviours intended to fulfil divergent expectations expressed by the various role senders with which auditors interact. Moreover, auditors’ behaviour is affected by several factors: the risk of incur in legal liabilities, network’s expectations and client firms’ expectations. In addition, time dimension has a significant impact on auditors’ role assumption process. Over time, indeed, each factor affecting auditors’ role assume different strength, specificity and intensity, and this implies that the process of role assumption in the audit environment should be observed not only from a static perspective (i.e. which factors impact on auditors’ role behaviour), but also from a dynamic one (how factors affecting auditors’ role change over time and how auditors react to these changes).
DE SANTIS, Federica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/866953
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