This thesis provides an analysis of the extent of auditor’s liability. I have chosen to examine three forms of liability: the regular liability, criminal and disciplinary liability. The analysis includes within which areas auditors and audit firms have incurred a liability. The method of the analysis is empirical and intends to provide an understanding of how auditors incur liability in connection with their work. For each form of the liabilities, I will start by examining and explaining the part of the laws the auditors are subject to. Subsequently, I will define the concept of the moral code of auditing. To examining the extent of auditors liability, I have a gathered all published judgements and adjudications within the liabilities from 2009 to first half of 2014. In addition an interview with a senior prosecutor from SØIK has been conducted, with the purpose to get an insight into how SØIK is working and dealing with cases where auditors are involved. Most cases are within the disciplinary liability. Both registered and chartered accountants are responsible in the violation of the moral code of auditing. Within this liability the majority, with 73 pct., has neglected the formal requirements when making a §1, paragraph 2 statements. The formal requirements include audit evidence, declaration of independence etc. Further the analysis has shown that 30 pct. of the auditors are missing a proviso or supplemental information and 13 pct. are lacking supplemental information about an illegal loan to a shareholder. Additionally, 15 pct. have infringed their independence, by having economic interest or other circumstances, which arouses doubt at a third party. During the analysed period, there is only published one judgement in criminal liability. The audit firm that was brought before the court was found guilty by not having done a second option on a calculation of property-‐profit in a tax return for a client. Within the liability, auditors and audit firms are incurred in connection with consulting. Of the published compensation cases, 75 pct. of the auditors and 50 pct. of audit firms have rendered themselves liable. The auditors that incur a liability for compensation are typically chartered accountants, whereas the majority of auditors who incurs a disciplinary liability are registered accountants. By analysing and comparing the results from the empirical analysis, the thesis concludes that registered accountants commit more fundamental missteps, while chartered accountants makes more mistakes in connection with consulting, which indicates that some auditors are not familiar with the limitation of their own skills.
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||97|