Revisornævnets sanktionspraksis og konsekvenserne heraf: Fra disciplinæransvarets vogter til bødemaskine

Eva Lynge Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


»The representative of the public has no order in the pencil case«. These are the first words in an article published in Berlingske Business Sunday, August 16, 2015, with a directly criticism of the audit profession. Based on input from the auditor Board the article describes, that the total level of fines to the Danish auditors has increased dramatically since 2010. The President of the auditor Board, High Court Judge Henrik Bitsch, explains that this is a result of the continuing effects from the financial crisis, as errors and omissions in the auditor’s work usually appears after a few years. He also mentions the mandatory quality system, which the auditors have not been good enough to implement – in other words, the auditors’ lack of order in the pencil case. Charlotte Jepsen, the CEO of FSR – Danske Revisorer, responded immediately to the critique, with her own article »Stop the fine machine – fair sanctions pleas! «, in which she expresses harsh criticism of both the large number of fines and the level of fines in the auditor Board. In her opinion, the practice of the auditor Board has evolved into a fine machine, with far too much focus on the auditor’s small missteps rather than focusing on the serious cases.On this basis, the purpose of the thesis has been to explore who is right in its claim, and if the auditor Board may be accused of being a fine machine. The thesis examines as well the need for changes in the Board’s practice, and through analysis of the auditor Board’s historical background and purpose, the development in the auditor Board’s sanction policies in 2010-2014, identification of who appeals to the auditor Board, and finally an assessment of the observed reactions from the auditing profession, the thesis concludes to the problem. It clarifies that the historical purpose of the introduction of an audit Board back in 1967 was to provide for the maintenance of professional discipline in the auditing profession, by an independent entity against auditors breached the duties of the position as auditor. The analysis of the period’s complainants revealed a pattern in who appeals to the auditor Board and what certain kind of penalties it triggered. The review of all the judgments in the period 2010-2014 made it clear that the regulated maximum fine exhibits the auditor Board as a fine machine. This regulated maximum fine makes it possible to do a proportionate comparison of each fine, which in any time should be able to accommodate on the closed scale. This proportional comparison reveals a penalty system out of balance and makes the auditor Board appear as a fine machine. The review of the auditor Board’s practice during the period 2010-2014 in conjunction with the responses from the auditing profession, have shown a current need for changes, because the auditor’s societal role as representative of the public seems to threatened.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages95