Auditing of Cooperative Housing Associations: The Challenges of an Auditor in Terms of Valuation

Adem Sari & Dennis Olsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Cooperative housing associations is a concept that has existed in Denmark since the early 19th century. The original idea behind this kind of housing arrangement was to provide cheap housing for low-income families. As time has gone by and society has changed, so has the basic idea of cooperative housing associations. Since the global financial crisis and the downfall of the real estate market in 2007-2008, there has been a lot of political discussion on the cooperative housing associations. Furthermore, the media has had its focus on this type of housing, adding fuel to the fire. The increased focus on this kind of housing has been due to extensive economic problems experienced by some of the associations ever since the crisis. Due to the crisis, the Danish government began focusing on how to make transparent and standardized annual reports for the cooperative housing associations, creating a set of standard regulations. The idea was to give the users of the annual report a way to compare the different associations’ economic situations, since the annual report previously was not sufficiently informative. From an auditor’s perspective, the new legal regulations for the annual report required an update on their knowledge and understanding of cooperative housing associations. Furthermore, there was increased focus on auditing the associations’ debts and property values. The aim of this Master Thesis is to examine the challenges Danish accountants experience in their auditing of the cooperative housing associations, with a specific focus on auditing valuation. In relation to this the thesis will also focus on auditing in general, including the risks and problems related to cooperative housing associations. To aid in the answering of the identified challenges certified public accountants have been interviewed in order to get expert opinions and include a practical approach in the thesis. Combined with an analysis of the standard regulations and a few case studies it has been the aim of the thesis to get a perspective on best practice for how the auditing of cooperative housing associations should be done. Finally, as a result of this thesis’ analysis it can be concluded that auditing for cooperate housing associations is not that different from regular auditing procedures. The only differences are caused by special regulations in the valuation of property values and debt.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages168