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Title: The professional and commercial balance in Maltese audit firms : an assessment
Authors: Bugeja, Christopher (2012)
Keywords: Auditing -- Malta
Accounting firms -- Malta
Professional ethics -- Malta
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Purpose: The objective of the study is to analyse the extent to which local audit firms have the desirable professional attributes and how commercial interests are managed, gathering views of both audit firms and listed entities. The study aims to outline pressures on professionalism and audit quality and to gather the opinion of audit firms and listed clients on proposals debated in the wake of the crisis. Design: A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used. Questionnaires were distributed to the whole population of audit firms and listed entities, whereas interviews where held with five audit firms and three listed entities. Results were analysed depending on the size of audit firms. Findings: Listed entities perceive the auditor as being generally professional. There is no statistical difference in replies given by listed entities with different listings. Audit firms of different sizes expressed different opinions, namely on the extent to which the competitive position of Big 4 is unhealthy and the extent to which pressure by seniors to increase efficiency impairs audit quality. Conclusions: Audit firms and listed entities agreed that the most serious threat to professionalism and audit quality is time pressure. Time pressure is also causing the profession to lose potentially competent staff in audit firms of all sizes. Whether time pressures are due to lack of sufficient staff or unrealistic deadlines needs to be analysed further. Both audit firms and listed entities believe that provision of non-audit services does not impair professionalism. Independence and training were perceived to be adequate whereas all respondents believed it is unrealistic to expect the auditor not to be paid by the client. Smaller audit firms agree there are artifici and commercialism is a recurrent issue, but especially important during this crisis given the proposals to reform the audit market. The main pressure on audit quality was perceived to be time pressure and to a lower extent, provision of non-audit services and competitive pressures.
Description: B.ACCTY.(HONS)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2012
Dissertations - FacEMAAcc - 2012

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