The auditor has an important role in society. The auditor controls and makes sure that a firm’s finan- cial statement is true and give a fair view of the company. Therefore is it crucial that the public have trust in the auditors work and professional conduct. If the public does not trust the auditor, it will result in lack of investments into companies, higher costs for the companies in regards to loaning money and credit terms.
The 17th of June 2016 the new audit reform entered into force. The new reform had some grand changes for the auditors and the companies. The audit reform contained the 70 % cap for consulting services, the forbidden list of consulting services, a firm rotation plan, a new way of quality control and more focus on auditor independence.
This master thesis investigates the consequences of the new reform. In this regard, it tries to analyze the goals set by the EU-commission. It focuses primarily on two goals. The first goal of increasing the auditor and audit firms independence and the second goal to increase the audit quality. It investi- gates if the new reform aligns with the goals.
If the auditor independence increases so does the audit quality. If the auditor is more independent, the auditor tends to ask difficult questions, and challenge the management’s decisions and accounting policies. It is then crucial that the auditor is independent and that the public trust the auditor’s work. The question is does these new paragraphs increase the auditor independence and does this have a positive influence of the audit quality.
In order to answer the questions, there have been performed a number of interviews with carefully selected parties. There have been performed an interview with Dansk Industri, a company that have the firms’ interest. There have been performed interviews with auditors and FSR. Lastly, an interview with Erhvervsstyrelsen was conducted, the authority that implemented the reform into Danish legis- lation. All four interviewed persons were asked the same questions, in order to compare their opin- ions.
The thesis analyzes the opinions of the different persons in regards to auditor independence and audit quality. This leads to a discussion of advantages and disadvantages of the new legislation for both companies and audit firms. The discussion results in five recommendations that will improve audi- tors’ independence without damaging the audit quality.
The paper concludes that the reform does not align with the set goals from the Commission. The interviews, analyzes and discussion has led to the conclusion that the reform was made on the wrong ground.
Some of the articles in the reform increases auditor independence but at the same time, damages audit quality. Some of the articles have a positive effect on the audit quality including the new quality control system. Especially the firm rotation have a negative influence of the audit quality, since the rotation leads to loss of knowledge of the company. Some of the other articles does not have an effect of the independence at all. Was there really a problem with the auditor independence? Alternatively, was auditors not performing their jobs as well as they should?
|Educations||MSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||124|