Revisor idag, redovisningskonsult imorgon : Har revisionen spelat ut sin roll i mindre företag?

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In 2010 mandatory audit was revoked for small and medium sized companies in Sweden. At the same time the authorization for accounting consultants was established with the aim of raising the knowledge and status of the profession. Even though The Swedish Companies Registration Office has discovered more errors in the accounting after the mandatory audit was eliminated, it especially concerns those companies who does not have neither an auditor or an accounting consultant. One of the reasons often mentioned to be audited is the auditors role when it comes to lending decisions. Our empirical studie show that the auditors most important function, being unbiased, is not what is of greatest importance for the credit institutions.

Instead it was professional skills, and for small and medium enterprises (SME) it was consulting they requested the most. We believe that auditors should focus more on consulting. Especially when the limits for mandatory audit expects to increase in Sweden to harmonize with the rest of the European Union. The fact that some companies still hire an auditor is probably because of a long collaboration which feels to convenient to end.  

This study is limited to merely cover companies who does not need to be audited and only authorized accounting consultants. The studie concerns credit institutions and Skatteverket. Emprical information was gathered with both quantative and qualitative studies.

Our conclusion is that SME companies are better off with an authorized accounting consultant than an auditor. The accounting consultants often charge lower fees and have a relatively high trust in comparison with auditors, which probably will be even higher in the future because of the authorization. We also believe that auditors will have to focus more on consulting if they are going to be able to face the abolishment of mandatory audit and compete with the accounting consultants. It now seems that the time for audit in small companies has come to an end.

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