Extern finansiell revision - ett historiskt perspektiv.
The auditor’s report has been criticised for being uninformative at least since the late nineteenth century. Despite persistent requests for detailed information in order to facilitate users’ decision-making processes, auditors have only recently started to provide entity-specific information in their reports. Against this background, two research questions are raised: (1) What were the driving forces behind the evolution of the auditor’s report? (2) How can dissatisfaction with and misperceptions of audit reporting be reduced in order to support financial statement users’ decision-making processes?
As the object of study, the Swedish auditor’s report is chosen since it has up to the present day, deviated from reports in other jurisdictions and thus enables an extension of knowledge in the field of audit reporting. The first part of this dissertation contributes to previous auditing history and auditing profession research by answering the first research question through an analysis of approximately 1,800 historical Swedish auditor’s reports and numerous related documents. Applying a critical-theory perspective, the research findings suggest that during the course of history, auditors were able to adopt an auditor’s rather than a user’s perspective despite arguing in the interest of users. The second part of the dissertation contributes to previous audit reporting and expectation gap research by answering the second research question through a vignette experiment with Swedish financial statement users.
The research findings indicate that dissatisfaction with the current auditor’s report can be reduced through additional entity-specific information concerning the auditor’s independence, the audit process and the audit findings, and less general information about the auditor’s responsibilities. Overall, this dissertation connects past events concerning the auditor’s report to current challenges and indicates possible future developments.
Avhandlingen finns att ladda ner från DiVA: http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:1141556/FULLTEXT01.pdf
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