The Impartial Need of Joint Audit –Evidence from Swedish firms

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Background and Problem: Since the financial crisis, it has become of greater importance to secure audit quality, and there is an ongoing discussion concerning the matter of how to assure that auditors do contribute to a higher level of financial stability. Joint audit is mandatory in France and has been mandatory in Denmark and Sweden up until recently. Moreover, the stakeholders rely on highly qualitative financial information in the financial reports in order to make well informed decisions.Purpose of Study: The purpose is to investigate how a firm’s accounting quality is linked to joint audit. The study is carried out in accordance with the many stakeholders’ interest in minimizing information asymmetry and acquiring impartial financial reports. Is the application of an additional auditor a higher accounting quality assertion?Boundaries: Firstly, no assessment is projected to separate a firm using two audit teams from the same or different firms. Also, there are various ways to measure accounting quality and the cause for certain results in accounting quality can be due to many external factors, which have not been investigated.Methodology: From our elaborated sample on the top largest Swedish firms (developed by revenue) we use a quantitative method and earlier developed equations where joint audit is a dichotomous variable, to calculate the relationship between joint audit and accounting quality.Results and Conclusions: We state that our conclusions are of the same quality as the quality of the method. On the basis that accounting quality has been measured by addressing income smoothing and SPOS. This study discovers that joint audit is negatively linked to accounting quality through a more frequent use of income smoothing and a higher tendency to manipulate earnings by the statistically significant positive correlation between SPOS and joint audit. This implies that applying joint audit does not mean that the accounting quality is elevated.Future Studies: We wish to inspire further studies on whether there are other factors that provoke the need for an additional audit team. Research could be subjected again to Swedish firms to confirm our results. This research should then concern a wider span of accounting quality proxies in addition to a larger sample.

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