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Factors contributing to auditor‐change decisions in Malta

Josianne Magri (University of Malta, Zebbug, Malta)
Peter J. Baldacchino (University of Malta, Zebbug, Malta)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 1 September 2004



Auditor changes are not alarmingly high in Malta but have been rising of late and the driving forces in this regard could be particular to a small‐island state. This paper seeks to elicit the perceptions of behavioural, economic or other factors that influence auditor‐client realignments in Malta. It does this mostly by a mail questionnaire responded to by 97 Maltese companies. Such findings were complemented by 15 interviews with companies that actually changed their auditor. The study concludes primarily that behavioural forces provide the principal motivators of auditor changes in Malta. Deterioration in the working relationship with the auditor and lack of accessibility feature as foremost concerns. Economic forces, albeit being important triggers of auditor changes, come only secondary in importance. Underlying this, there is evidence of differences in the attitudes of clients and non‐clients of Big 4 audit firms as well as between small and large companies.



Magri, J. and Baldacchino, P.J. (2004), "Factors contributing to auditor‐change decisions in Malta", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 19 No. 7, pp. 956-968.



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Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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