According to the European Union’s fourth directive each member states can exempt the smallest companies from statutory audit. Many of the member states have chosen to do so – among these England. Here the audit exemption thresholds are executed to the European Union’s maximum. One of the Danish government’s goals is to minimize the administrative burdens by 25 % before 2010. Therefore, the government decided in March 2006 to exempt the smallest companies in Denmark for statutory audit. The exemption happened as a result of a report conducted by the Danish Commerce and Companies Agency. The report analysed the consequences of an exemption from statutory audit and was afterwards heavily debated among the affected stakeholders. After the audit exemption became effective the politicians talked about an audit exemption which was executed to the European Union’s maximum and to put review instead of the statutory audit. The focus of this thesis is the question of a further exemption with a review instead of an audit. On the basis of England’s great experience with exemption from statutory audit, this study will evaluate and consider whether a further audit exemption is desirable in Denmark. I therefore compose a comparative analysis of the exemption from statutory audit between England and Denmark. Furthermore I analyse the banks’ and the tax authority’s position on the matter of audit exemption and review instead of statutory audit. It seems inevitable that Denmark will start to implement a further exemption for two reasons. Firstly, the government’s objective is to minimize the burdens of the Danish companies with 25 % before 2010. Secondly, the audit exemption of Denmark has a very low thresholds compared with other countries in the European Union. Based on my studies of stakeholders’ opinion concerning a further exemption, in which review is put instead of statutory audit, the solution does not seem desirable. This is caused by the fact that the stakeholders seem to possess the opinion that a review has no value. In addition to this, England’s experience with a review-solution shows that neither the companies nor the stakeholders have confidence in such a solution. Therefore I conclude that a further exemption from statutory audit in Denmark is desirable. However, a situation with a review instead of an audit is a poor solution. Though it is highly probable that Denmark gets a further exemption, the question of how and when will depend on the final evaluation by the authorities in 2009/10.
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