Tenders are generally considered important in auditing research and practice, and are associated with significant difficulties for the auditing profession, as well as for individual auditors in the context of client relationships. The purpose of this paper is to explore the way auditors respond to complex client expectations related to the audit tendering process.
Using a role-theory perspective, the authors analyzed 75 client evaluations of auditors, along with in-depth interviews with high-level auditors.
The authors present a theoretical framework of audit tenders that identifies different formal and informal practices auditors may employ in response to evolving client expectations that arise throughout different phases of the tendering process, and elucidate relevant conditions that may enable or impede these practices.
First, the study reveals that, in the context of auditor-client relationships, expectations cannot be considered stable, but may vary significantly throughout the tendering process. Second, the study indicates that auditors are not only determined by the formal tendering procedures, but are also influenced by their level of agency.
The framework has practical value by providing individual auditors guidance in managing their client relationships and, further, top management guidance for creating favorable conditions for auditors to meet client needs.
The findings provide a deeper and more nuanced understanding of the autonomy auditors have in responding to the contemporary pressures exerted on them.
The authors would like to express their gratitude to Britt de Roos who helped with the empirical part of the study. The authors would also like to thank greatly the respondents of organization X for their valuable time and assistance in the research project, as well as to the managers of the proposal department for their assistance and provision of the client evaluations. Finally, the authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their very valuable reviews as it helped the authors to substantially improve the paper.
Taminiau, Y. and Heusinkveld, S. (2017), "Role expectations and agency in the audit tendering process", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 30 No. 8, pp. 1820-1842. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-10-2015-2258Download as .RIS
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