This study aims to review the auditor-client relationship (ACR) literature spanning 1976 to 2019 to provide future research directions.
The study analysed 140 articles from the Web of Science database, authored by 259 scholars across 28 countries and published in 47 journals. It identified three major research streams to understand the ACR dynamics: auditor tenure, ACR attributes and auditor-client negotiation.
Three major findings emerged based on this review. First, few studies examine auditor-client negotiation relative to other streams; thus, it offers scope for further research. Second, given that various fields have used diverse frameworks as theoretical underpinnings in prior studies, continuing this trend can better portray ACR from multiple perspectives. Finally, despite strong international regulations on ACR aspects such as auditor independence, tenure and rotation, implementation in several countries warrants special considerations, specifically on legal enforcement and investor protection, given diverse cultures and country-level institutional environments.
This study contributes to the synthesis of existing and emerging research streams and provides future research suggestions.
The authors wish to acknowledge the valuable feedback from the reviewer and editor as well as from our colleagues: Ziaul Haque Munim (University of South-Eastern Norway) and Stephen Zamore (University of Agder, Norway). They also appreciate the funding support from the Research Fellowship, School of Business and Law, University of Agder Norway and Publication Grant from Universitas Indonesia.
Mustikarini, A. and Adhariani, D. (2022), "In auditor we trust: 44 years of research on the auditor-client relationship and future research directions", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 267-292. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-11-2020-1062
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