Clients’ Perspectives Toward Audit Service Quality of the Big 4 inThailand
The purpose of this thesis is, firstly, to investigate clients’ perspective toward the Big 4’s financial audit service quality. Secondly, the gaps between clients’ perceptions and expectations of audit service quality provided by the Big 4 audit firms will be studied. Finally, factors influencing clients’ expectations of audit service quality will be categorised.
A combination of qualitative and quantitative approach is used in the form of a web-based self-completion questionnaire. A qualitative approach is used in one section of the questionnaire which is an open-ended question asking about the
clients’ perception toward audit service quality. A quantitative approach is used in the rest of the 2 sections of the questionnaire; firstly, asking the respondents to score the level of perception and expectation of audit service quality; secondly, asking for types of clients’ industries. The respondents are 25 clients who have direct experience with the Big 4 audit firms located in Thailand.
Clients strongly expect assurance, reliability, and responsiveness while strongly perceive assurance and reliability of the Big4’s audit service quality. However, it is obvious that clients’ perception of all 5 dimensions is less than those of expectation; assurance, reliability and responsiveness are significantly different at .05 level. Moreover, eight factors from given expectation score are re-categorised in order from the most important issue to the least important as follows; Factor 1: Trust & Confidence, Factor 2: Responsiveness & Accuracy, Factor 3: Knowledge and skills in clients’ industry, Caring and Independence, Factor 4: Understanding of Clients, Factor 5: Timing/Scheduling & Right Service, Factor 6: Physical Facilities, Factor 7: Professional appearance & Professional Procedures, and Factor 8: Information & Communication Channels and Materials.
In conclusion, the factors that are not satisfied by the clients; assurance, reliability, responsiveness, should be taken account of by the Big 4. Not only the Big 4 operating in Thailand have to be aware of their service quality, the other audit firms both international brands and local brands should also be aware of their service quality in order to satisfy their clients and to avoid damages of the firms and markets from audit failure. Both the audit firms and the clients together can help in audit quality improvement.
To improve audit service quality, it is not only the Big4 audit firms’ responsibility but also the good cooperation from the clients could be the crucial support, and the ongoing policies are needed because it takes some time to see the consequences. When the quality level of audit service becomes a win-win situation, both audit firms and clients receive mutual benefits. Moreover, the Big 4 are the big actors in the audit industry in Thailand with promptly financial and human resource, they should support non-Big 4 to improve audit service quality. Because it means the overall image of audit service in Thailand would be improve somehow.
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