Purpose–The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of the European Union’s Reform of the EU Statutory Audit Market, which entered into force in 2016.The goal o fthe reform is to ensure transparency of companies’ financial information. Further EU want to ensure that the auditor’s independence and ability to show professional skepticism cannot be questioned.Design/Methodology/approach–The paper is investigating5 matters which was changed in the new reform, being limitation of non-audit services delivered–both in amount and type of service, mandatory audit firm rotation, changes in the statement of the annual report –conclusion moved to the start/the introduction of Key Audit Matters/the emphasis on the auditors’ responsibility, paradigm shift on quality control to a risk based approach and the whistleblowing policy.The paper examines if these changes will have a positive effect on auditing and the trust of the annual report by the interested parties.The evidence in the paper is derived on the basis of a thorough literature analyses as well as an online questionnaire, asking Danish auditors as well as employees in Danish investment firms what their perception is of the changes made in the reform and if they believe the changes are for the better.Findings–It was found that the respondents in general were in favor of almost all the legislation changes. It was also found that the users of the annual report in general were much more positive than the auditors.All in all, their perception is, that the changes will make interested parties trust the annual reports and the auditors more.The challenges that the respondents see in the reform is: The allowed tenured period of the auditor is too long in Denmark. Companies can have the same audit firm 10 years with possibility of 10 years extension, whereas respondents trust annual reports from companies who changed audit firm in the last 1-7 years most. The statement on the annual report is too long in Denmark and respondents believe people do not read it and that many do not understand half of it. Many respondents believed that no one will use the whistleblower policy and several do not believe it will be possible to keep it anonymous. The only change respondents did not think was necessary is the emphasis on auditors’ responsibility in the statement on the annual report. And most did not understand why tax and salary tasks are on the list of not allowed NAS services.Research limitations/implications–A limitation of the study is that primarily the perception of audit quality is examined and not so much the actual quality of the audit. Further the study is done with Danish respondents only, and this might make the transferability of the paper to the whole EU doubtful.Other interested parties of the annual report could have been included in the population, but for simplicity the most important ones, the ones that approves it and the ones that make investments based on them has been chosen.
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