The Importance of Internal Control over Financial Reporting: A Study on the Pros and Cons if an Auditor Express an Opinion on the Effectiveness of the Internal Control over Financial Reporting

Tony Mouridsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Fraudulent behavior amongst management and a worldwide economic crisis, which subsequent led to a default at a variety of respectable Companies has caused the society, governments, and officials to debate and look at the way auditors performs an audit. Furthermore, the debate has rendered a need for enhanced information to the Financial Statement users, in order for them to have a profound basis for their decision-making, and to restore the reliability to the Financial Statements that released.
Such debate has resulted in a different approach worldwide, and has caused different paradigms when implementing additional requirements for the Companies as well as auditors. In the U.S., The Sarbanes- Oxley act were introduced and implemented in 2002. Meanwhile was Europe working on a common solution for the union as a whole. The European solution resulted in amendments to the existing directives, which implied additional independence requirements for the auditors, implementation of corporate governance requirements for management and disclosure requirements regarding the entity ́s internal control over financial reporting.
The objective of this thesis has been to investigate whether the current requirements for a Danish public Company is sufficient and adequate, when presenting its financial statement and when considering and respecting the fundamental purpose of a financial statement and the beneficial users of such. The thesis has applied a pros and cons analysis towards the current situation, in the light of historical and newly changes to requirements, both nationally, on a European level and with inclusion of the requirements of U.S. listed Companies.
The thesis has shown that professionals abroad, find additional disclosure on the internal control over financial report to provide useful information, and to provide a foundation to measure the integrity and ability amongst management, and furthermore, provides the financial statement users with insight to take the necessary steps to securing their interest in the Company or possible investment.
Recent implementation of additional requirements for auditors, and Danish public Companies through a new European provision, and a new auditing standard for public Companies, are yet to prove its purpose and ability to mitigate the risk of insufficient independence by the auditors, and further, that erroneous financial information is released to the public. In the light of such, the Confederation of Danish Industry do not find pros of additional requirements, in terms of an auditor providing an opinion on the effectiveness over the internal control over financial reporting. Furthermore, they find that the cost of such extensive regulation will not pair with the purpose of the Companies, and are not in the best interest of the statement users. The main argument behind this is the lack of experience of the new amendments, the time that has to be invested by management, and the scale of which a typical Danish public Company has.
The recommendation through completion of the thesis has been to investigate, whether there is a need for subdividing the requirements for public Companies, based on the economic scale the Companies possess, and further, to investigate whether the sociality are independent of the large public Companies, or if a risk is at hand, that might provide basis for further regulation.

EducationsMSc in Auditing, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages81
SupervisorsJørgen Valther Hansen