Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: External auditing as a career in the accountancy profession : an assessment
Authors: Micallef, Lara Gail
Keywords: Auditors -- Malta
Accounting -- Malta
Auditors -- Salaries, etc. -- Malta
Issue Date: 2018
Citation: Micallef, L. G. (2018). External auditing as a career in the accountancy profession : an assessment (Master’s dissertation).
Abstract: PURPOSE: The study aims to shed light on various perceptions about the auditing profession amongst auditors. It examines the motivational factors that steer individuals towards auditing, along with the challenges and drawbacks encountered during the auditing profession. This study assesses the skills, qualifications and training required to become a successful auditor and explains several drivers of change that are likely to have an impact on the future of the auditing profession. DESIGN: In pursuit of these objectives, an explanatory sequential mixed method design was employed in this research study. A questionnaire was first distributed to audit practitioners working within Maltese audit firms. The 205 questionnaire responses were analysed and used to develop the interview schedule. Subsequently, ten semistructured interviews were carried out with big-four and non-big-four audit managers, directors and partners. FINDINGS: This study highlighted that job security was the most significant career driver. It was also concluded that if auditors had to look for another job, the majority would not look for an auditing post, but would move towards other accountancy jobs. Factors such as heavy workload, stress and problems with managing work-life balance were associated with the auditing profession, especially by respondents working within a big four audit firm. Moreover, Maltese auditors perceived the delays in receiving the requested documents from clients as being a major challenge in the auditing profession. This study also ascertained that qualifications were only a starting point and that training was essential. Moreover, Maltese practitioners believed that inquisitive skills were the most crucial skills to become a successful auditor. In addition, it was generally held that although the use of automation is probable to increase in future years, judgement and decision-making would never become automated. CONCLUSION: The study identified that the key to success in an auditing career is ongoing training and the ability to maintain a sceptic attitude. Despite having a steep learning curve for new auditors, the opportunities to continuously acquire new knowledge and impart that knowledge to other people is what makes an auditing career fulfilling. Moreover, from the study it emerged that despite the fact that various audit firms were engaging in work-life balance initiatives, during busy seasons, auditors were regularly required to work longer hours. Lastly, several differences and similarities in the perceptions about the auditing profession amongst the different respondents were duly noted. VALUE: This study raises awareness to improve work conditions and practices within the auditing profession in Malta. Audit firms, the majority of which experience high turnover rates, could use these findings to uncover situations that cause people to quit from this profession.
Description: M.ACCTY.
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2018
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2018

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Restricted Access
2.22 MBAdobe PDFView/Open Request a copy

Items in OAR@UM are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.