Statutory Audit : Do banks benefit from statutory audit?
Problem In Sweden, there is currently a debate concerning statutory audit. Different stakeholders debate whether the government should change the legis-lation concerning statutory audit for limited companies below a certain size. A study made by Thorell & Norberg (2005) and other researchers are of the opinion that banks are positive toward statutory audit. We find it very reasonable for banks to have this positive opinion, but we ask ourselves if the importance of the statutory audit is so great that it is reason enough for the banks to be an influential part in the ongoing debate.
Purpose The purpose of the thesis is to contribute to the debate regarding statutory audit for small limited companies by studying the argument that banks and credit processes benefit from statutory audit.
Method This study was conducted through a qualitative method. The data was collected by interviewing representatives from three banks. We investigated and compared the process of granting credits for unregistered firms, partnerships and small limited companies. This means that we compared credit processes for companies that are under the regulation of statutory audit and companies that are not.
Conclusions Based on this study, we agree with Thorell & Norberg (2005), that banks positive attitudes towards statutory audit is based on convenience rather than real benefits. Banks can conduct the same research for small limited companies, as for unregistered firms and partnerships. The personal responsibility for unregistered firms and partnerships is no defence in keeping the statutory audit, because it is of minor importance. As the bank representatives in this study do not know what an audit consist of, we can see no reason for them to say that the statutory audit should be kept. An auditor’s advice can create benefits for the company that is greater than the cost of the audit, but we can not see why the statutory audit should be kept because of this. Company representatives can hire an auditor or an-other advisor whenever he/she wants. Based on the results from this study, we can see no reason to keep the statutory audit for small limited companies, from a bank perspective.
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