Finanskrisens påvirkning på revisors arbejde i forhold til going concern, værdiansættelse og besvigelser

Helena Sauer & Christina Østermann Madsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In this thesis, our primary goal is to introduce the reader to the paper’s main problem concerning an accountant’s work in relation to the financial crisis. The financial crisis has now lasted for several years and has made its mark on Danish companies. A lot of companies have had difficulties with surviving the crisis and have gone bankrupt. Many other companies have experienced a decline in sales, have had difficulties in raising available funds, and have been affected by their dependency of other companies. This implies the “food chain” which the companies are a part of. They are depended of one another on different levels. It is suppliers, producers, distributors and so on and so forth that are affected by the crisis. During his preliminary planning, the accountant must decide whether or not the company has going concern problems. This evaluation is based on the accountant’s knowledge concerning the company, the industry and its current situation in the financial crisis. Many companies have had going concern problems and it has been doubtful whether they could survive the next twelve months or not. Thus, the accountant has had to take multiple steps in an effort to evaluate whether or not the management’s evaluation and assumptions about going concern are valid. It is the management who give the audit and the accountant cannot predict future events and conditions which may lead to the company not being a going concern. The accountant must use his professional skepticism in regards to the risk evaluation of the individual company and its current situation. In regards to evaluation of going concern, there are three categories which the accountant has to pay extra attention to. These are economic conditions, working operations of the business and other conditions. In his examination of the accounts, the accountant must take in to consideration whether or not there are problems with the continuously running of the business especially in regards to the categories mentioned above. Companies had had difficulties with raising available funds. This has led to more problems for the companies who in this way have gotten into going concern problems. The financial crisis has also led to declining values on many balance sheet items. This makes a challenge for both companies and accountants. The companies have to make an annual report under difficult market conditions, and the account must secure sufficient audit evidence for the included value. This result in more auditing procedures in relation to measurements and inclusion of fair values, accounting estimates and so on and so forth. The accountant has to take assets and liabilities into consideration, and judge whether or not they are valued correctly according to the market.Furthermore, the accountant must consider whether or not any estimation is involved and determine the need for write-downs or provisions for loss. In regard to estimations, the accountant may go through the management’s procedure and put it to the test. The accountant may himself make estimations and compare these to the management’s estimations. He may also go through following events which gives reasonable audit evidence for the estimation. In regards to fair value, it is also necessary that the accountant is critical toward the management’s method and evaluate the data which is used as basis for the fair value. The accountant may need help from an external expert in order to evaluate the item if it concerns special areas. Furthermore, he must evaluate whether or not a write-down is needed based on writedown tests. Regarding the balance sheet items there are several goals for the audit which are affected by the financial crisis depending on which item the accountant looks at. All items must be evaluated thoroughly during the audit in order to secure that the accountant achieves a suitable and sufficient audit of evidence which a conclusion can be based on. The last area which we touch upon in our thesis is fraud. The accountant has to consider the risk for fraud in connection with the annual report. In our opinion, it is relevant to look at this area in connection to the financial crisis because the companies’ stakeholders have increased their focus on fraud and have high expectations to the accountant’s work. The accountant is not hired to detect fraud but to make sure that the annual report is accurate. In order to focus on conditions which may seem suspicious in regards to the company in relation to the two types of fraud which we look at in the thesis, the accountant may consider the fraud triangle. The triangle consists of three elements which are incentive, opportunity and justification. The two types of fraud which we look at in the thesis are abuse of assets and accounting manipulation. Accounting manipulation is often carried out on management level, and it can be difficult for the accountant to discover it. The reason is that the management implements internal controls and makes the financial report. The financial crisis has affected the elements in the fraud triangle, and thus we think that it is important for the accountant to pay extra attention to this area.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages129