This thesis investigates auditor selection in Denmark. A questionnaire survey was conducted to examine how companies differentiate between auditors, focusing especially on the factors, which influence the selection of an auditor and how companies identify the selected auditor or the audit firms obtain tenders from. Theoretically auditing can be characterized as an experience good where quality is not readily determinable prior to purchase, but is learned through experience with the good, that is, after the audit is completed. Survey answers from 1,217 Danish companies, show that they primarily find their selected auditor, or the chosen audit firms to obtain tenders from, through personal or professional networks. Recommendations or knowing the auditor in advance via non-audit services is also a common way. For a majority of the companies, the change in auditor resulted in a fee reduction in the year of change. Especially the companies that invited audit firms to tender achieved a significant reduction compared to those companies that did not do this. The results of the survey further show that companies in general are of the opinion that they have made an informed decision and that fee is less important for companies who believe they made an informed decision. In the questionnaire the companies were asked on a seven-point scale to rate 18 factors, representing the following six categories: fee, technical skills, audit and non-audit services, communication, auditor personality and reputation. The results show that good chemistry in the relationship with the auditor is the most important factor in the auditor selection when rated on a scale. Rated next is meeting deadlines, involvement in and understanding of the company, and rapid respons to inquiries. The results are in accordance with those of prior studies of auditor selection using the same method of questioning and concluding that fees are not the dominant factor. In this thesis, the companies were also asked to prioritize the factors, which ranked fee as the most important factor. Coupled with the fact that many companies invite audit firms to tender and thereby save money on fees, it is concluded that fee is a dominant factor in auditor selection, especially for smaller companies.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||120|