En kritisk konstruktiv analyse af det eksisterende revisionsbevis på baggrund af nyere argumentations- og bevisteori: Et kritisk bidrag til videreudvikling af ISA 500

Peter Nielsen & Jesper Brandt

Student thesis: Master thesis


There have been a number of business scandals in both Denmark and abroad, where enterprises from one day to another turned into bankruptcy without any previous remarks or warnings from the auditors in the annual reports. The scandals have obviously lead to massive loss amongst stakeholders, and in that perspective, it is not unlikely that the auditors could be met by claims for compensation from the stakeholders. This shows the need of sufficient guidance and protection of the auditor by the auditing standard ISA 500, that regards audit evidence. This thesis would investigate how ISA 500, could be improved, so it is able to guide the auditor, with at methods based on law to analyze and evaluate the audit evidence in regards to appropriate and sufficiency, when it comes to a law trial. The thesis is divided into three parts; Theoretical review: Is ISA 500 based on traditional audit theory and which characteristics should an legal evidence have ? Critical analysis: Identify weaknesses in ISA 500 by comparing with legal evidence theory. Constructive analysis: How could the weaknesses of ISA 500 be reduced? Could the introduction of argumentation theory and probability theory reduce some of the weaknesses? The analysis shows that ISA 500 is based on the epistemological theories, which rank the evidential strength of the audit procedures, differently from the legal perspective, which is a problem. The thesis shows that ISA 500 could strengthen the auditors work and protection by including the Legal objective behavioral requirements otherwise the judge might judge against the auditor. There also need for a more detailed Guidance regarding liability of evidence, so the auditor has no doubt. ISA 500 is also missing a Method of organizing and analyzing the strength of the audit evidence, so the seven-step method by David Schum should be implemented. The Level of materiality (Quantitative and qualitative) is necessary when the auditor should determine, whether the evidence is sufficient. ISA 500 has no Clear statement when audit evidence is sufficient and does not mention that evidence could be combined to strengthen the evidence of a certain hypothesis. An implementation of the Use of argument model by Stephen Toulmin could help the auditor to strengthen the objectivity and include evidence of indirectly relevance.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages128