Accountantscontrole, Open Access
What practitioners and academics want to know about audit quality
Bouwens, Jan
Maandblad voor Accountancy en Bedrijfseconomie, 2016 - 90e jaargang editie 9
What do we know about audit quality? An intriguing question for which society seems to have a readymade answer, while to the audit industry is much less clear about what it takes to get there. Society would seem to impose a zero-mistake tolerance on the audit industry. Surely society does not want to pay the price that would take audit quality to a level where quality is irreproachable. For that matter, it is not even clear that auditees who pay a premium fee get better quality. For instance, while industry specialization tends to have a positive effect on audit fees (Numan & Willekens, 2012a), competitive pressure may inflict a negative effect on quality. Numan and Willekens (2012b) report a negative impact on audit quality delivered by an auditor who faces competitive pressure from competitors who resemble the focal auditor in its range of activities. These results seem to suggest that society varies the price it is willing to pay for an audit. To the extent that audit fee is associated with the quality of the audit, it would appear that audit quality is not uniform across audit engagements.
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