The audit expectation gap has been examined in many regions of the world, but the extent of such a gap has not been investigated in many Middle‐Eastern countries. This study attempts to assess the possible existence of an expectation gap between accountants and non‐accountants in Lebanon.
Survey research was conducted on a sample of accountants and non‐accountants and comparisons made.
A significant “reasonableness gap” was uncovered. There is a gap between the auditors' understanding of their profession compared with the perceptions of others. There is a significant difference in perceptions of the role of the auditor in respect of fraud detection. Neither group had a strong image of the Lebanon profession compared with worldwide audit practices or with the technical qualifications of the auditors.
This research can be extended through assessing whether there are differences between different non‐accountants (judges, lawyers, bankers, brokers, etc.) in terms of their understanding of the role of external auditors.
Much more concerted effort needs to be exercised from professional syndicates and other relevant stakeholders in developing the image of the profession and addressing the varying perceptions and attitudes towards it.
This paper adds evidence to the important debate about expectation gap from a region that has had little coverage.
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