Accountantscontrole, Open Access
A discussion of auditor-client co-production of the audit and the effect on production efficiency
Duiverman, Sytse, Nolder, Christine
Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie, 2016 - 90e jaargang editie 9
This article provides a reflection on the paper and presentation during the FAR Conference of 9 and 10 May 2016 of “Auditor-client co-production of the audit and the effect on production efficiency” by Gaeremynck, Willekens, and Knechel (GWK). The authors examine the effect of auditor-client co-production on the efficiency of an audit, a topic relevant to the whole audit-client financial reporting and assurance supply chain. Using a sample of working papers from a Belgium Big 4 firm, the authors explore the controllable (i.e., managerial) and non-controllable (i.e., environmental) factors that contribute to variations in audit efficiency within the auditor-client coproduction of financial reporting quality. The results suggest that partner tenure positively contributes to the efficiency of the audit engagement, but the audit work prepared by the client, interim-work by the auditor, and the final audit work performed during off-peak season negatively affect audit efficiency. While this may be surprising from an efficiency standpoint, it may be that such measures add to the audit effectiveness to an extent that outweighs any efficiency loss. Audit quality or audit production, after all, is a matter of efficiency and effectiveness. GWK offer a number of important insights for practitioners interested in the delicate balance of managing efficiency and effectiveness. In the paragraphs that follow, we aim to both summarize the GWK research and highlight the importance of the findings to practice.
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