For as long as the audit expectation gap has existed, there has been a keen interest in minimizing it. Attempts have been made to legislate on customization of the auditor’s report to match the expectations of the users of the financial statement. The auditor’s report has been the only means of communication between the auditor and the users of the financial statement. However, it has not been enough and the gap still exists. In this master thesis, the audit expectation gap has been divided into three categories: 1. Deficient performance, which adds up to 3 per cent of the total gap and comprises 5 duties for the auditor. 2. Deficient standards, which add up to 45 per cent of the total gap and comprise 10 duties for the auditor. 3. Unreasonable expectations, which add up to 52 per cent of the total gap and comprise 21 duties for the auditor. The only way to minimize the audit expectation gap is to know which duties apply to each of the gaps. There is a lack of knowledge about the auditor’s role and responsibilities as well as about the contents and limitations of an audit. In addition, there is a demand for more companyspecific knowledge. In order to minimize the expectation gap, the auditor has to explain the auditor’s role - and the auditor’s report is not the place to do it. Studies have shown that the message in the auditor’s report is not read, except for the opinion. The report is seen as symbolic because of the generic information and language. I suggest that the auditor try alternative methods of communicating with the user of the financial statement, e.g. funny and informative videos on the internet which explain audits and important audit limitations. It is the responsibility of the company’s management – not the auditor – to meet the users’ demand for company-specific information. The management report would be the perfect place for this information, together with an explanation of significant matters identified by the audit committee during the audit. The auditor can then assure the management report by means of an assurance report (ISAE 3000).
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||108|