Auditing Complex Fair Value Measurements : The Battle of Interpretations

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Stockholms universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen; Stockholms universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Sammanfattning: Fair Value Accounting is becoming increasingly more prominent, and auditing such measurements is at times difficult as a great deal of estimates and judgments are involved. This makes auditors jobs more challenging. Research has found that there is a need for understanding how auditing standards affect the audit process. Furthermore, some studies have shown that there is a gap between auditors and inspectors view of what constitutes sufficient and appropriate audit evidence regarding fair value measurements, the “FVM gap”. The aim of this study is to provide new insight on how auditing standards and inspectors affect the judgment of auditors in regards to fair value measurements. This study contributes to audit standard setters by illuminating how current auditing standards affect auditor judgment when auditing fair value measurements. It also contributes knowledge on how inspections affect judgment in the auditing process. Finally, it provides insight to practitioners on how box-checking and similar tools affect auditor judgment. We performed semi-structured interviews with respondents who have considerable experience of fair value measurements. The empirical data was thematically analysed and related to theories on judgment and decision-making as well as structure versus judgment research. A number of interesting findings were made; auditing standards seem to be well adjusted to auditors’ needs, documentation is one of the major issues when dealing with fair value measurements and the toughness of inspections between countries seem to differ. Some potential topics for future research were identified: whether or not a gap of interpretations exists between auditors and the lawyers of inspecting entities, and what effects such a gap could have; if the documentation of both audit clients and auditors needs to be improved upon. More potential areas for future research can be found in the Conclusion.

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