Professor Henrik Nilsson receives the prestigious Swedish Auditing Academy Research Award 2022
“I am very honored to be the first recipient of this reward together with Professor Stefan Sundgren at the University of Umeå. He is a friend and former colleague and we have previously written an award-winning textbook on financial accounting together, but I think Stefan would agree that this prize beats our previous joint award", says Henrik Nilsson, Professor of Accounting, Stockholm School of Economics.
An important field for capital markets
Auditing constitutes a vital role in capital markets, where auditors reduce the information risk and contribute to the efficacy of equity and debt markets. “It is essential for investors to have access to transparent, informative and accurate financial reporting information when making investment decisions, and the auditor's objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement. Without accurate and reliable financial reporting, and competent and independent auditors to provide assurance, capital markets could not function properly", says Professor Henrik Nilsson.
Aims to increase the overall knowledge of the auditing industry
In his current research, Henrik wants to contribute to this important field of research by improving the understanding of the decision-making process of auditors, and to increase the overall knowledge about the auditing industry. The Swedish Inspectorate of Auditors (SIA) has recently expressed concerns over the departure of auditors from the profession and how it could impact audit quality. “My research will improve the understanding of how audit firms can recruit, retain and promote key talent and how to enhance audit quality delivered by audit professionals. For the larger society, our research will help improve the efficiency of the capital market", Henrik says.
Exciting times ahead
Today Henrik is studying how different personal characteristics affect audit quality. He is also involved in a project where a group of researchers look further into which factors that affect career outcomes within the auditing industry. He hopes that receiving this award will help his research group to attract external funding for future research projects and emphasizes the importance of teamwork. “Getting this price from the Swedish Auditing Academy shows that both academic and professional scholars around Sweden find my research on financial reporting and auditing relevant and important. It encourages me to continue conducting research on auditing and financial reporting issues together with my excellent colleagues at the department of accounting. Without them, I would not have received this award", says Henrik.
In the future he looks forward to start teaching the auditing course in April. “This year we have a record-high interest in auditing at SSE with almost 70 students that have signed up for the course. Most of them will not work as auditors, but almost all of them will interact with auditors in their future capacities as managers, board members, investors, controllers, and entrepreneurs. Therefore, it is important to understand the auditing process and what they can expect from auditors in terms of audit quality", Henrik says.
The Swedish Auditing Academy has together with FAR, the institute for the accountancy profession in Sweden, founded an award for valuable research contributions within the accounting field. The award is given to an employee at a Swedish university whose research is considered to be of high quality and contributing to further development within the field by supporting other research. The research also needs to be acknowledged both in Sweden and internationally, and successfully passed on to students and practitioners.