During the financial crisis several cases where financial statements have wrongfully been given an unquali-fied opinion have emerged. The EU-Commission takes this matter as a sign that the independence of audi-tors is lacking and they are very concerned with changing the conditions under which auditors work so the independence is strengthened. Two of the initiatives that the EU-Commission wants to introduce are man-datory audit firm rotation and restrictions on providing non-audit services. These initiatives are a part of a new regulation that applies to Public Interest Entities (PIE’s) and audit firms that audit PIE’s. The regulation includes other initiatives as well but these two matters seem to have raised the biggest resistance in the audit industry as well as other stakeholders such as academia and the companies themselves. This thesis describes the threats against auditor independence in relation to tenure and non-audit services as well as the existing regulation that enforces auditor independence and it reviews the proposed regula-tion. It also presents the arguments for and against implementing mandatory audit firm rotation and re-strictions on providing non-audit services with the biggest argument against both rotation and restriction on non-audit services being lost knowledge about the entities. An analysis on prior studies reveals that implementing mandatory audit firm rotation would most likely be damaging to audit quality; the results on non-audit services are not quite as clear but do point to the fact that it would also be damaging to audit quality to implement restrictions on providing non-audit services. These results are somewhat confirmed by my own study on Danish data. A study also suggests that non-audit services are only damaging to audit quality when tenure is short which undermines the evidence on the proposed regulation as mandatory audit firm rotation causes tenure to be just that. In conclusion everything points to the fact that there is no evidence on the proposed regulation with regard to audit firm rotation. As regards non-audit services the results are not as clear but still suggest that there is no evidence on the proposed regulation about this action, either. This is the conclusion in both the re-viewed studies as well as my own study.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||73|