The Impact of Audit Education on the Audit Expectation Gap : Evidence from Civilekonom Students in Sweden

Detta är en Master-uppsats från Karlstads universitet/Handelshögskolan

Sammanfattning: There is considerable evidence of the existence of audit expectation gap between auditors and the public in Sweden. However, conflicting views exist regarding the role of audit education in narrowing this gap. This thesis, therefore, aims to investigate if the teaching of audit courses for civilekonom students contributes in narrowing the expectation gap resulting from the misunderstanding of audit regulations as contained in ISA and ABL.A survey questionnaire containing seventeen semantic differential belief statements measured using the five-point Likert scale was completed by four groups of students; first-year civilekonom students with/without an audit education background and, final-year civilekonom accounting students with/without an audit education background (n=137). The questionnaire covered topics on; auditors’ responsibilities, audit reliability, and decision usefulness.The results of the study indicate audit education partially (at α 0.05) had an impact in reducing the AEG on the responsibilities of auditors especially on issues related to; auditors’ responsibility in maintaining accounting records, management’s responsibility for preparing the annual financial statements and auditors’ judgment in selecting audit procedures. However, audit education had no impact on auditors’ responsibilities in detecting fraud, audit reliability and reliability of financial statements, and decision usefulness. Furthermore, the limited sample size, low response rate and use of convenience sampling may affect the generalizability of the results. Additionally, the Cronbach Alpha would have been more reliable if more participants were involved.This study concludes by calling on educational institutions in Sweden to update their accounting curriculum to encompass topics related to the nature, scope, and limitations of audits based on ISA and ABL. Moreover, this study recommends the audit profession and regulators to design and implement policies aimed at improving users understanding of the nature, scope, and limitations of an audit through audit education, refresher courses and other forms of audit-user communication. This study extends previous studies on the AEG by ascertaining the role of audit education in narrowing the AEG.

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