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Title: Bridging the statutory auditors' expectations gap in Malta : an analysis
Authors: Cutajar, Christian
Keywords: Accounting -- Malta
Accountants -- Public relations
Financial statements -- Malta
Auditing -- Malta
Issue Date: 2009
Abstract: The collapse of a number of corporations within weeks of getting a clean bill of health led to widespread criticism of the performance and role of auditors. The profession attributes much of this criticism to the public's lack of knowledge and false perceptions of the legal and professional duties of auditors. With the cases of litigation against auditors continually increasing, it is imperative for the profession to identify ways of improving communication with the public so as to bridge that part of the expectations gap which arises as a result of unreasonable public expectations. This study investigated whether the expectations gap in Malta could be bridged through an expansion of the auditor's report and/or through further educating shareholders at AGMs. The research objective was achieved through a mail questionnaire which was mailed to auditors and to members of the general public. Due to the low response rate from the public, a further thirty-seven questionnaires had to be delivered by hand. The study revealed that the expectations gap could be bridged through both an expansion of the auditor's report and through further educating shareholders at AGMs. Nonetheless, while the Maltese public was supportive of all measures analysed in this study, auditors were uncertain whether the expectations gap would be narrowed should the audit report include an explanation of the terms 'reasonable assurance' and 'material misstatement', the materiality level used during the audit, the extent to which internal controls were relied on, and more information about audit findings. Auditor respondents were also uncertain whether the gap would be bridged if auditors were to explain at the AGM the work performed in the course of the audit. The present research has also ascertained that there are a number of barriers which may restrict the implementation of these measures in Malta.
Description: B.ACCTY.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2009
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2009

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