Audit Quality and Regulation

Robert Knechel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Since 2002, there has been a significant and rapid growth in regulation related to the audit profession. However, despite significant progress in the quality of audits, as well as some complaints about over-auditing, there are still concerns that audit quality is lower than wished by some stakeholders. In the end, the question of whether audit quality is good or not, depends on one's viewpoint. In order to reconcile potentially competing views of audit quality, it may be helpful to re-consider what is meant by the term 'audit quality'. Audit quality is generally defined as consisting of two important attributes: competence (expertise) and independence (objectivity). In this paper, I analyze how these two attributes interact with each other, creating different points of view for regulators and practitioners. Further, I illustrate how fundamental economic theory can be used to analyze how regulation might influence competence and independence to impact overall audit quality. However, because regulation may not always appropriately consider the economic theory underlying the market for assurance services, it is likely that the positive benefits obtained from regulation will also be tempered by negative unintended consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-223
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Auditing
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Audit quality
  • audit regulation
  • economics of auditing
  • DECISION-MAKING RESEARCH
  • ACCOUNTING FIRM
  • SERVICES
  • MARKET
  • JUDGMENT
  • SOX

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