Forventningskløftens eksistens i relation til besvigelser: En empirisk undersøgelse af problemstillingen

Joy Funder Christensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In recent years, the society's focus on fraud has increased significantly. The increased focus is partly due to media coverage of corporate scandals, which more often than before emerging due to the financial crisis. The scandals have led to a major criticism of the auditors involved and their work related to fraud. A survey conducted by PwC shows that fraud is a growing problem for companies and that the economic losses of this is increasing. Based on the circumstances above, this thesis investigates whether a gap exists between investors and business journalists' expectations of auditors and auditors' actual work related to fraud. This gap is also called the expectation gap. This thesis will investigate the existence of an expectation gap in relation to fraud by using a quantitative survey in the form of a questionnaire. The expectation gap was a hot topic in the 1990s when people like Brenda Porter and Bent Warming-Rasmussen studied the existence and reasons for its occurrence. Both of these theorists’ theoretical production will be used in this thesis. To support the empirical analysis, there will not only be a review of the theoretical basis of the expectation gap but also of fraud as well. The results of the analysis confirm the existence of an expectation gap when it comes to uncovering fraud and who is responsible. Investors and business journalists involved in the study has unreasonable expectations to auditors' work which results in a reasonable gap. One example of the unreasonable expectations is that investors and journalists believe that auditors must be able to detect forged documents. This is not the auditor's task, according to ISA 240. The results of the analysis also show that confidence in the auditor has fallen compared to a 2006 study. The decline is caused by the business scandals, which have had a negative effect on confidence. How to minimize the expectation gap and thereby improving confidence in the auditors will not only be an interesting task to investigate in the future but also a necessity.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages102