Until 2006, audits were mandatory for all companies in company class B, C and D in Denmark. However, the government believed that these requirements were too strict. In that not all companies saw the audit as value adding but rather as an administrative burden. As a result of this, the Danish Government began easing the requirements for mandatory audits in 2006 which had up to certain criteria for Class B companies. The first ease meant that companies within some criteria, were able to deselect audit if they wished to do so. These criteria were raised in 2011. Finally, in 2013, all Class B companies were able to deselect an audit with high level of assurance in favor of a new declaration type called “Udvidet Gennemgang”. Many companies have taken advantage of these options to deselect an audit or to switch to assistance resulting in less assurance.
The goal of this thesis has been to examine the effects of easing the requirements for audits. The focus has been on the effects of the easing on companies that choose to deselect audits and the impact on the Danish society as a whole. Additionally, we have investigated the stakeholder’s opinions regarding these changed requirements. We have analyzed whether the easing have met their intended goals, what consequences followed, as a result of the easing and if the regulators have done enough work to mitigate these consequences.
We report based on the obtained results in this thesis that the companies have saved billions by deselecting audits. This has come with some unintended consequences such as more errors in annual reports, a worsened relationship with banks and relationships with other stakeholders. The easing of the requirements has also impacted the Danish society as the tax gap has increased to more than DKK 16 billion. Our analysis shows that the regulators have not done enough to mitigate this gap. Generally, auditors and regulators are happy with the eased requirements, but an important stakeholder, the banks, are not showing the same enthusiasm towards the change. The analysis also shows tendencies in the society towards a stricter audit requirement to accommodate the corporate tax and VAT reporting of companies.
|Uddannelser||Cand.merc.aud Regnskab og Revision, (Kandidatuddannelse) Afsluttende afhandling|