This paper aims to investigate how auditors’ characteristics affect key audit matters (KAMs) in the new audit report. It also provides an understanding of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on different audit reporting decisions and audit quality in specific industries.
The paper uses a survey based on actual audit case studies extracted from the management letters of clients in an audit firm with international affiliation to test the proposed hypotheses. Kruskal–Wallis and Mann–Whitney tests are conducted to analyze variance in responses among different groups of auditors regarding their selection of audit report sections required for each audit matter. The Wilcoxon signed rank test analyses difference in the auditors’ responses pre- and post-COVID-19 implications.
Most of the developed hypotheses were only partially accepted where industry specialization, professional qualifications of the auditors and the effects of COVID-19 had some effects on the ability of auditors to recognize and disclose KAMs. Auditor position is the most factor that significantly influenced the recognition of KAMs in the new audit report resulting in higher audit quality. This was specially the case with auditors specializing in manufacturing and financial institutions.
The current research illustrates that during the pandemic, auditors were more effective in recognizing KAMs compared to other audit matters, thus enhancing users’ confidence in both the audit and the financial reporting processes. The results are useful to regulators and auditors as they provide a better understanding of the factors that may impact communicating KAMs in the new audit report under COVID-19.
Hegazy, M.A.A., El-Haddad, R. and Kamareldawla, N.M. (2022), "Impact of auditor characteristics and Covid-19 Pandemic on KAMs reporting", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 37 No. 7, pp. 908-933. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-07-2021-3271
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited