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Have changes in audit standards altered client perceptions of auditors?

Marcus Doxey (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA)
Robert Ewing (New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA)

American Journal of Business

ISSN: 1935-5181

Article publication date: 2 November 2020

Issue publication date: 4 June 2021

221

Abstract

Purpose

Changes in external auditing over four decades motivates a historical investigation of how client employees' perceptions of auditors have changed across this period.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a longitudinal quasi-experiment to compare current client employees' perceptions of the auditor with results from 1972.

Findings

Changes in client employees' perceptions of the audit, its usefulness and of auditor-client conflict suggest increases in auditor independence. However, this paper also finds that despite decades of efforts to strengthen auditor independence and skepticism, the primary analogy client employees apply to the external auditor remains “consultant”.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to the discussion of whether regulatory and standard changes in the audit environment have changed aspects of client employees' perceptions of auditors.

Originality/value

The paper contributes by presenting a unique approach to partially replicating a historic study using a quasi-experimental research design.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank to the University of Kentucky’s Von Allmen School of Accountancy, and the University of Alabama’s Culverhouse School of Accountancy for financial support of this research.

Citation

Doxey, M. and Ewing, R. (2021), "Have changes in audit standards altered client perceptions of auditors?", American Journal of Business, Vol. 36 No. 2, pp. 109-127. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJB-01-2020-0008

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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