Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The Threat To Auditors Independance And Impartiality

The Threat To scrutinizeors Independance And ImpartialityThis interrogation is basic whollyy to access and analyse the menace to attendant license and fair play. This is strategic because the position of an attendee when size uping a pecuniary statement bequeath stun if he or she on the wholeow for be freelancer and right when drafting a conclusion on a financial level. This is why this seek is very important. What this look wants to assess is to find erupt if listeners license and faithfulness puke be scourgeened through base on ballsing non- scrutinise go to their clients. financial explanation is very important to stakeholders of an organisation. It is excessively important to prospective investors fire in an organisation. It is likewise important to the general in the frequent eye(predicate) as a whole. Therefore, for this reason, the authenticity of a financial report is very crucial and important.This check is authenticated by a involve of people called size upors.Stakeholder, investors and the general earth forget rely on this authenticated report for making decision. However, in that location is a item that this report whitethorn be misleading and this calls for concern. This is because analyzeor often offer progress serve to their clients separatewisewise than canvasing called non- canvassing service which whitethorn aim them impartial when size uping such corporations financial report because of m superstary been acquire from non- analyze function. This is when Auditor independency and equity could be threatened.This look for will be establish on this topic, finding whether the supplying of these non-audit operate potful misclutch the license and impartiality of meeters.1.1 BACKGROUNDHistory reveals that audit is a Latin word meaning he hears. Auditing originated in those years when individuals entrusted with public bills were required to give an oral account of their discussion o f those funds. Porter (1997)An sound judgment of an strong-minded chartered accountant is needed to give the public lie of mind that the sets of accounts presented were true and fair and also conform to lay overthrow standards.Independence is the cornerst single of auditing Stewart (1977) quoted by Porter. In carrying protrude the audit assignment, the attendants moldinessiness be independent i.e. the sense of being self reliant and his/her master copy judgement non being subordinated by the depression of others. (Porter, 1997, p.65)It is very important for the listeners to be independent otherwise the audit report will be undermined and lose its value. In order to make the users of information to suck up creed and rely on the audited account, they must be sure that the audited accounts atomic number 18 independent of entity, its trouble and other interested party.This is reflected in the funda intellectual principles of international auditing- objectivity and liber ty which state that meeters ar objective and they express prospect severally of the entity and its directors. As the guide to professional ethics statement (GPES) 1201 rectitude objectivity and independence explains, objectivity is essential for any professional someone exercising professional judgement. Objectivity is any(prenominal) meters described as independence of mind (Dunlea, A. Maclochlainn, N. p.19).However, it is feasible to identify some threats to auditors independence. The grooming of non-audit operate by auditors to their client is referred to as a self- freshen up threat to auditors independence. This is so because once an auditor of a company starts to provide non-audit services to its client e.g. computation of connection tax upshots and other financial services the auditor and the directors tend to bewilder a family relationship and this may jeopardise the objectivity of the auditor (Woolf, E. 1997, p.11-14).The prepargondness of non-audit service by auditors to their client is still a topical give up. The newly Standards on Ethics issued in October, 2004 by Auditing Practices jury (APB), gave some exemptions to miser fit companies on the supply of non-audit services.CHAPTER TWOLITERATURE REVIEW2.1 INTRODUCTIONSince the macrocosm of the auditing standard on independence, which requires auditors to be independent of the clients being audited, the maintenance of independence has drop dead a critical issue for the invoice profession. Bartlett, R. W (1993, Online)The reason sees independence in auditing as able to maintain an unbiased mental drum in making decisions al most(prenominal) audit form that one is to report upon.Bartlett, R. W. (1993) defined independence in auditing to be the auditors cleverness to change course client pressure or and the auditors ability to act with integrity and objectivity.Dunn, J. (1991, p.19) also described independence and impartiality as an attitude of mind characterised by integ rity and an objective approach to professional live on.Whittington and Pany, (1998, p.34) sees independence as the ability to maintain an objective and bollocks uped mental attitude throughout the audit assignment or engagement.There is a general consensus that independence is an attitude of mind, which does not allow the viewpoints or conclusion of the corporate auditor to become reliant on or subordinate to the influence of pressures of conflicting interests leeward (1993, p.98) quoted by Sherer, M. and Turley, S. (1997).For the purpose of this seek, independence and impartiality will be illogical into 2 related concepts of independence, which argonIndependence and impartiality in pointIndependence and impartiality in air.Independence and impartiality in fact occurs when an auditor displays independence in mental attitude when carrying out his statutory audit assignment while independence and impartiality in appearance simply means that the auditor should be seen as been i ndependent and impartial in the publics view (sh beholders, Potential investors).Public confidence would be impaired by evidence that independence was lacking, and/or when in that respect is the existence of circumstances, which the public office believe, is likely to influence independence and impartiality.The relationship that exists mingled with the auditor and their client should be such that it appears independent to the third party, Bartlett, R. W (1993).Whittington and Pany (1998, p.35) added that the fatality by the third party from the auditor is to give credibility to the audited financial statement.The concept of appearance of independence has been primarily concerned with identifying those situations in which a qualified Chartered Accountant might not be perceive to be independent. The mere acquaintance that an auditor is not independent renders his report use slight to the shareholders who wish to rely on it for decision-making purpose.Beattie, V. et al. (1999) st ated that,The reality and perception of auditor independence and impartiality is fundamental to public confidence in financial reporting.This work will identify and assess the constitute threat to auditors independence and impartiality and concentrate on the provision of non-audit services. This will insure the controversies that exist on the provision of non-audit services and establish the opinions of the public and auditors on such provisions. Later in the course of this research, conclusion will be drawn on the extent to which provision of non-audit service does and is perceived to mince the auditors independence and impartiality.2.1 ANALYSIS OF THE PRESENT analyse SYSTEMVarious factors could be identified in textbooks, articles, journals, auditing standards and the publics view, which can affect auditors independence and impartiality.Hussey, R. and Lan, G. (2001), identified some of the factors such as the nature of the auditor-client relationship (Goldman and Barley, 1974) , lack of strict auditing regulations, and belligerent pressures leading to what has been termed predatory pricing or lowballing and the provision of non-audit services. Beattie and Fearnley, (1994), quoted by Hussey, R. and Lan, G. (2001), (Online).The auditing trust board (n.d) (Online) categories these threat as follows Self interest threat, self review threat, care threat, advocacy threat, familiarity threat, and intimidation threat.Woolf, E. (1997, p.13), lists examples of threat to Auditors independence as follows unwarranted dependence on a single audit client, overdue fees, litigation, outdoor(a) pressure or influence, family and other personal relationship, beneficial interest in shares (other investment) and trust, trustee investment in audit clients, voting on audit appointment, loans to and from client, receipt of hospitality or goods and services on preferential equipment casualty, and provision of non audit services to audit clients etc.Beattie, V. et al. (1999) s tated the principal threat factors to independence relate to economic dependence and non-audit service provision. I contract elect to concentrate on how the provision of non-audit poses a threat to auditors independence, (Online). consort to the Auditing standards guidelines (online, n.d.), non audit services comprisesAny engagement in which an audit unassailable provides professional services to an audit client other than pursuant tothe audit of financial statements andthose other roles which legislation or regulation specify can be performed by the auditors of the entity.An online source (n.d.) defined, non-audit service as those services that are permissible under applicable legislation and that are routine and recurring, that do not impair the independence and impartiality of the auditor, and are consistent with APB rules on external auditor independence.Other services that are rendered by auditors aside from auditing are bookkeeping or other services related to the news repo rt records or financial statement, financial information systems design and implementation, actuarial services, familiar audit outsourcing services, management functions, human resources, broker-dealer, investment adviser, legal services just to mention a few. (Online)The Authors research as indicated that over the years, there as been a growing dissatisfaction among investors and other users of financial statements about auditors provision of non-audit service. These services are perceived to give auditors independence when both audit work and non audit work are performed by the same audit whole to the same audit client.Barkess and Simnett, (1994), disagreed with the view that the provision of non-audit service does impair auditors independence and impartiality. They argued that there is no relationship between the level of other services and the type of audit report issued hence they concluded that, the provision of other services by the external auditors to their clients does not compromise the independence of the external auditors.The accounting profession also disagreed about whether non-audit services impaired the work of the audit and financial reporting process. Several auditors are of the opinion that when they interpret the factors that influence and improve the entitys performance, then they will be able to concenter their audit on those critical issues.Others view provision of non audit service, as an impediment to independence because, in some cases, the fees from the provision of non-audit services are more than than that of audit fees. If the income earned from provision of non audit service, is more than that of audit service, auditors have naturally tendencies to lose their independence, considering the damage of losing a client can be considerably more than simply the audit fees.From an online source from wiley.com, it was ceremonious that the Securities Exchange Commission, in the United States of America, carried out a research in 1999 and ascertained that4.6% of Big Five SEC audit client paying consulting fees in excess of audit fees. The SEC is concerned that the more the auditor has at stake in its dealing with the audit client, the greater the cost to the auditor should he or she displease the client, particularly when the non-audit service relationship has potential to generate significant revenue on top of the audit management.The SEC concluded that issue that impairs auditors objectivity are subtle and that sure non-audit services, when provided by the auditor do create inherent conflicts, (Online). http//www.wiley.comIn a situation where an auditor assists an audit client with their bookkeeping services, this places the auditor in the position of later having to audit his or her cause work. It is rather amateurish for the person who prepared the account to also audit the account. When such transcend it is practically im practical to expect the auditor to be able to audit those same records with an objective eye.In the same vein, when an auditor performs certain military rank services for the audit client, can such auditor raise questions in line with valuation of assets at the end when auditing that same audit client? An auditor who has appraised an important client asset at a menstruation during the year is less likely to question his or her have got work at year-end.Various examples can be use to see how the provision of non-audit service will impair audit independence.An auditor who provides services in a way that is tantamount to accepting an appointment as an police officeholder or employee of the audit client cannot be expected to be independent in auditing the financial consequences of managements decisions. An auditor who has also helped an audit client to conduct the terms of employment for a new chief financial officer is less likely to bring quickly to the audit committee questions about the new CFOs performance.Considering the following examples of non audi t services rendered by auditors to their audit client, it would be seen that such services not notwithstanding impair auditors independence and also shows that the accounting profession is not prepared to provide the bonnie assurance that the public expects.Graeme, W.(1994), carried out a advertise investigation on whether there is the potential for an appearance of auditor independence impairment when high levels of non-audit services are provided to audit clients. He investigated this, by analyzing the audit reports for a assay of publicly listed companies over a 10 years stay. The results of his abstract revealed that the auditors of companies not receiving an audit qualification of any type over the period derived a significantly higher proportion of their remuneration from non-audit services fees than the auditors of companies receiving at least one audit qualification, (Online)The result of his findings could suggest that auditors are less likely to qualify a given com panys financial statements when higher levels of non-audit services fees are derived.Firth M. (1997) in his write up concluded that, the provision of non-audit services to audit clients does increase the economic bond between the auditor and client. This bond, he said, is perceived as impaired auditor independence (Beck, Frecka, and Solomon 1988b DeBerg, Kaplan, and Pany 1991 Pany and Reckers 1983, 1984), quoted by Firth, M.Firth, M. further affirms this by given two reasons to believe that such service impair independenceThe audit firm is unwilling to criticize the work through with(p) by its consultancy division, and secondly, the audit firm does not want to lose lucrative consultancy services provided to the audit client and is, therefore, more reluctant to disagree with managements interpretations of accounting matters.He concluded that, auditors disagreements with management could lead to a change of auditor, a move which implies not scarce a loss of audit fees solely, in al l probability, a loss of consultancy fees as well. (Online)On one hand, legion(predicate) practitioners (auditors) are adamant that their auditing firms are able to wear both the hats of auditor and consultant without reducing the effectiveness of either service (Burton, 1980 Carey and Doherty, 1966 Klion, 1978 Mednick, 1990) quoted by Bartlett, R. W. (1993).The supporters of the opinion that non-audit service does not impair auditors independence argue that independence is a whole step of auditor professionalism which can have a range of determinelike all attributes of professionalism, independence is a matter of degree. Those arguing that independence is impaired by combining consulting and auditing have assumed that independence must be absolute, while their opponents have recognized that independence is a matter of degree and have decided that the auditor can fulfil the indispensable degree of independence and act in the dual capacity of auditor and consultant. Carmichael a nd Swieringa (1968) quoted by Bartlett, R. W. (1993).Auditing Practice Board under the Accounting Standard Board maintained its stand that the provision of non-audit services to audit clients does reduce the public confidence in the independence of the auditor, Bartlett, R. W (1993).However, consideration was given to clarified entities. A sensitive entity is defined for the purposes of ES-PASE asAs a company which is not a UK listed company or an affiliate thereof that meets two out of the following three criteria turnover below 5.6 million, balance winding-sheet total below 2.8 million and employees below 50.ES-PASEProvides auditors of Small Entities with procedures as an selection to the safeguards described in Ethical Standards 1- 5, in relation to threats to independence created when the auditors have a degree of economic dependence or where they provide non-audit services to their audit clientsMakes available exemptions to the auditors of Small Entities in relation toThe p rohibition on auditors representing their clients at tax tribunalsThe prohibition on auditors providing non-audit services, including tax and accountancy services, unless management is sufficiently informed to make independent judgements and decisions in relation to them. (APB, 2010 Online)2.2 AUDIT STRATEGY CONCEPTIn the USA, the General Accounting Officer (G.A.O.) did a graphical representation of both the permitted and prohibited audit work to audit clientThe standard for non-audit services was said to employs two major principlesAudit organizations should not provide non-audit services that will involve performing management functions or making management decision.Audit organizations should not audit their own work or provide non-audit services in situations where the non-audit services are significant to the adequate to(p) matter of the audits.Please, note an APPENDICE 2.2.1 has been inserted for table of permitted prohibited non- audit service TABLE before References page.2. 4 AUDIT CONCEPTUAL FRAME take onThe contention on the provision of non-audit service has been critically analysed. Different views of all stakeholders concerned with the provision of non-audit services to audit client have been examined. A logical conclusion has been drawn, as to the extent to which provision of non-audit service does and is perceived to weaken the auditors independence. The accounting profession has also reviewed the statement of Auditing Standard on auditors independence, knowing fully well that, without value in the auditor opinion, there would be no demand for audit service.Various proposals have been propounded for protect auditors from the undue influence of directors and regarding the provision of non audit services. There have been some(prenominal) similarities with the proposals of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and the Board for Chartered Accountants in Business, in considering possible mechanisms to remedy the perceived weaknesses of reg ulations, practises on other audit services.They concern is to whether there should be a prohibition on firms undertaking work other than audit for their audit clients or whether there should be compulsory gyration of audit firms, after a fixed period of say anything between 5 and 12 years or whether the responsibility for the commencement of auditing standards and guidelines be distanced from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales?The conclusions it reached were that to prohibit additional work or require compulsory rotation of audit firms would increase clients costs, reduce dexterity and place restrictions on the freedom of the client to make decisions on the services they desired. The Board was also opposed to the establishment of another body to suss out auditing practices. It argued that this would lead to a bureaucratic, inflexible framework without the advantage of the accumulated bonk of the accounting profession.They came out with these conclusion s as regards non-audit service thatAuditors should no more be allowed to undertake work other than audit work for the same client. They recommended that there should be compulsory rotation of audit firm after a fixed number of years. This will break any relation that might exist between auditor and company management and would also make the auditor to perform his job without been biased knowing that other auditor (firm) will come in after him (them).An audit can only be effective if the auditor is independent and is believed to be likely to report breaches of the contract between principals (shareholders and lenders) and agents (managers)(Fearnley Page, (1994), quoted by Hussey, R. and Lan, G. (2001)CHAPTER THREE search OBJECTIVESTo carry out a critical literature review to identify and assess the key threats to auditors Independence and impartiality.To examine the controversies on the provision of non-audit service.To carry out falsifiable research to establish the opinions of au ditors on the provision of non-audit service, to know whether it can pose a threat to auditors independence and objectivity.To come to a conclusion on the extent to which the provision of non-audit service does and is perceived to weaken the independence and impartiality of auditors.3.2 RESEARCH OBJECTIVESAfter carrying out a literature review to compare data on the views of different authors on issue of provision of non audit services to audit client and how this is viewed to threaten auditors independence and impartiality, a set of questions will be prepared. This is necessary so as to be able to have a wide range of auditors and entrepreneurs view on the subject matter.In order to obtain pertinent information needed to achieve the objectives stated below, questionnaires will be sent and delivered to some twenty quintet auditing firms and fifteen tenuous business entities for the following reasonsTo examine the controversies on the provision of non-audit service.To analyse and establish the opinions of auditors on the provision of non-audit service, to know whether it can pose a threat to auditors independence, impartiality and objectivity.To draw a conclusion on the extent to which the provision of non-audit service does and is perceived to weaken the independence and impartiality of auditors.3.3 RESEARCH APPROACH3.3.1 RESEARCH PHILOSOPHYBlaikie, N. (2003) defined positivism as the research that assumes that social reality is external to people refer and only the aspect that can be measured are regarded as relevant to research.Jackson, W. (1995) stated that research just like positivism relies on experiments, be and secondary data, therefore my research philosophy is positivism based. The author will be using questionnaire which comes under the Survey category.3.4 RESEARCH STRATEGYThe deductive approach or research strategy will be used for this research because, sufficient materials like journals, articles and periodicals are available to carry out a leaven on how the provision of non-audit service does and is perceived to weaken the independence of auditors.This research approach will involve different researches strategies ranging from Experiment, Survey, courting Study, Ethnography and action Research but the Survey strategy will be used for this research.Survey strategy and questionnaire option are chosen under this category leaving behind the structured interview and observation.Kumar, R (1999, p.104) stated that sometimes information required to carry out a research are readily available but needed to be gathered or collected from different sources to get the clue to what one is trying to find out or achieve.To achieve the objective of this research as earlier stated above, questions will be tailored to resoluteness the Research Objectives.Questionnaire was chosen because it allows the charm of data from a sizeable universe i.e. auditing firms and small business entities as stated in the literature review.The pitchi ng and collection questionnaire method is considered appropriate for this research. The questionnaire will be delivered in person to selected auditing firms and small business entities, asking them of a possible date of collection. This is chosen to be the best form of questionnaire method necessary to achieve the aim of the research, Saunders et al (2001)The author considered interview as another option to this research, but realised that time may be a limiting factor. It may be impossible to interview Twenty five auditing firms and fifteen small business entities due to time frame.The author also considered the convenience of answering the structured interview as respondents may be busy with other business matters on the day of interview. This may cause lack of absorption or simply not getting the best from the person interviewed.If time permits, additional information through interview would be gathered. This will be done by carefully selecting respondents from the questionnair e who are willing to supply more information on the subject matter and are ready to be interviewed, to assist in achieving the objective of the research.A question will be in the questionnaire asking whether respondent are willing to give further information to help achieve the research objective (Interview).Other research strategy or methods are considered in appropriate for this kind of research.ADVANTAGES OF QUESTIONNAIREQuestionnaires are generally seen as been cheaper to spread compared to interviews. Researchers and authors believe that questionnaire saves time, human and financial resources.Bryman, A. (2004, p. 133) added that, the decline in cost of carrying out a research is an advantage considering a sample that is geographically widely dispersed.Questionnaires are also quicker to administer as they can be sent out through the post, distributed in an office, school or working place etc.It also offer greater anonymity as some questions are sensitive and are best asked wit hout face to face interaction, Kumar R. added.This allows the respondent to freely express his/her opinion on the topic of research.According to Bryman, A. (2004), it has been argued that the characteristics of the interviewers (and respondents) do affect the answers that people give. It was discovered that characteristics like ethnicity, gender, social background of the interviewer may combine to bias the answers that the respondent provides.This is also part of the reason why questionnaire was chosen to be the most appropriate method of data collection.DISADVANTAGES OF QUESTIONNAIREDespite all these advantages, questionnaire also has its own disadvantages and these are discussed belowQuestionnaire can only be applied to a universe of discourse that can read and write. This does not provide opportunity for the population sector that is part of the research that is illiterate, very young or old, or handicapped, Kumar R. stated.A low solution rate or low feedback from the distribut ed questionnaire is a major disadvantage of the use of questionnaire. Some of the distributed questionnaires are thrown in the waste bin, some are forgotten where they are kept by the respondent these do not make the researcher to get a perfect picture on the subject matter and conclusion may be drawn from few respondent who returned the questionnaire.Kumar, R. (1999), stated factors that can work to low response of the questionnaire as followsThe interest of the sample population on the topic of study the layout and length of the questionnaire the methodology used to deliver the questionnaire.In tackling these factors for the purpose of this research, I have carefully selected auditing firms that are directly involved in provision of non audit services. I have also considered the small business entities that desire the use of auditors for both auditing purposes and non audit services.Gill, J. and Johnson, P. (1997, p.89), stated that all questions in the questionnaire should be re ally relevant to the research question, therefore I have handled the issue of relevance, layout and length of question with care.I have also do up my mind to deliver the questionnaires in person to the sample of population selected and asking a convenient day and time for collection of the questionnaire. This approach will assist to reduce the paradox of low response rate experienced using questionnaires.Another disadvantage of questionnaire is that respondent does not have the opportunity to ask for clarification on issues. This does affect the quality of information supplied by respondent. The may also cause collation problem for the researcher, if different respondent interpret same question differently. In handling this, the questions in the questionnaire will be set in a unsubdivided and unambiguous manner. The questions will be stated in clear terms for all to understand.Questionnaire cannot probe, stated Bryman, A. (2004). The researcher cannot probe further on an issue ap art from that which is in the questionnaire.The only way that questionnaire can be made to probe is by asking an open-ended question.In Open- ended questions possible responses are not given to the respondent. The respondent write down the answers in his/her words, Kumar, R. (1999, p.116)The disadvantage of open ended questions is that it may be nasty for the research to summarise his find as opinion of respondent may be far apart/ different from each other making it difficult for researcher to summarise and conclude.Kumar, R. (1999), gave another disadvantage of questionnaire as its inability to be supplemented with other information like interview which can be supplemented with observation.To handle this, if time permit as earlier stated an interview will be conducted to supplement (additional information) the information gathered through questionnaire.CHAPTER FOURRESEARCH METHODOLOGY1. Conduct a review of literature on auditing in relation to auditorsIndependence and threat to a uditors independence in order to develop research question.2. A questionnaire will be developed with question based on the background and objective of the research.The questions in the questionnaire will seek to test the research question does the provision of non-audit service, pose a threat to auditors independence?The questionnaire will be distributed to a sample of 20 auditi

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