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Book part
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Audrey A. Gramling, Arnold Schneider and Lori Shefchik Bhaskar

This study’s purpose is to examine whether providing prior consulting services influences internal auditors’ subsequent assessments when providing assurance services to…

Abstract

This study’s purpose is to examine whether providing prior consulting services influences internal auditors’ subsequent assessments when providing assurance services to assist management in its assessment of internal control over financial reporting. A behavioral experiment is used, with internal auditors as participants. We provide some evidence that internal auditors who perform prior consulting services are less likely than others to conclude that an identified control deficiency is a material weakness, but only when the deficiency is directly related to the prior consulting services performed. Limitations include relatively small sample sizes and manipulation check failure rates that, although consistent with several prior studies, are somewhat high. If internal auditors have provided consulting services, they may want to consider limiting the assurance services provided to management that are more directly related to their consulting services. While prior studies have examined the effects of internal auditors’ role in designing internal controls on subsequent services, this is the first study to focus on the impact of providing internal audit consulting services on subsequent assurance services.

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2021

Isabel-María García-Sánchez, Beatriz Aibar-Guzmán and Cristina Aibar-Guzmán

The purpose of this study is to analyse the role played by institutional investors in a firm’s decision to hire sustainability assurance services and to determine the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyse the role played by institutional investors in a firm’s decision to hire sustainability assurance services and to determine the benefits of sustainability assurance for the functioning of the capital market. This analysis is complemented by examining the quality of the sustainability assurance service that institutional investors demand.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors selected a sample of 1,564 multinational firms from 2002 to 2017. Panel data logit and generalised method of moments (GMM) regressions were estimated to consider decisions about hiring sustainability assurance services or not, and the assurance quality indexes constructed by a checklist based on the academic literature, respectively.

Findings

Institutional pressures associated with the environmental and social impacts of a firm’s activities lead to the convergence of institutional investor attitudes towards corporate sustainability, so that, regardless of their investment horizon, they promote the hiring of sustainability assurance services by corporate boards, which favours analyst precision and a reduction in the cost of capital. Long-term (LT) institutional investors exert influence through a selection mechanism, whereas short-term (ST) institutional investors exert influence through their presence on the board. Once the company has decided to provide assurance about its sustainability report, both types of institutional investors promote a higher quality of such service, although this is not well valued by the stock market.

Research limitations/implications

This paper extends research on the monitoring role of institutional investors into the sustainability assurance context. Researchers may benefit from this paper’s findings when they examine the factors that drive the hiring of sustainability assurance services and their characteristics. This paper also shows that sustainability assurance services are a significant weakness due to the lack of standardisation in comparison with financial auditing, which complicates the assessment of their quality by stock market participants, thereby penalising those companies that provide more complete sustainability assurance reports.

Practical implications

Considering this paper’s findings, it seems advisable that regulators establish a normative framework to standardise sustainability assurance processes. The results can also be used as an orientation for both companies, to design their sustainability disclosure policies and regulators, to improve the running of the capital market.

Social implications

Sustainability assurance services have a positive effect on the running of the capital market and improve external stakeholder decision-making by providing more reliable information, which, in turn, will favour the implementation of more sustainable actions that contribute to the attainment of sustainable development goals.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to analyse the effect of institutional ownership on a firm’s decision to hire sustainability assurance services and consider the effect of the institutional investors’ investment horizon – LT versus ST – and the channel – selection methods and/or active engagement – used by them to exert their influence. The authors also propose several measures of sustainability assurance quality to demonstrate the relevance of the contents of the assurance statement for the capital market in general and the institutional investors in particular.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2021

Emiliano Ruiz-Barbadillo and Jennifer Martínez-Ferrero

Sustainability assurance services are carried out in a competitive market where a wide range of assurance providers operate without the need for any specific professional…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainability assurance services are carried out in a competitive market where a wide range of assurance providers operate without the need for any specific professional qualifications, competencies or skills. Assurance providers have heterogeneous professional backgrounds and experiences that lead to substantial diversity in sustainability assurance quality levels. This paper aims to provide an understanding of sustainability assurance quality. From a legitimacy perspective, the authors focus on the choice of assurance providers by exploring why a company voluntarily chooses an incumbent financial auditor to jointly provide audit and sustainability assurance services. The authors argue that to avoid the legitimacy threats undermining stakeholders’ confidence in the sustainability information disclosed, companies should only choose their incumbent financial auditors to provide sustainability assurance services when these auditors possess the professional attributes associated with sustainability assurance quality.

Design/methodology/approach

This study develops regression models for an international sample for 2007–2016, where the authors analyze why a company voluntarily chooses an incumbent auditor to jointly provide audit and sustainability assurance services from a legitimacy theory perspective.

Findings

Evidence confirms that the choice of incumbent auditors as assurance providers is more likely when these providers are more specialized in the industry. The authors also find that independence does not play a significant role in this decision. Therefore, an assurance provider’s industry specialization can be understood as an attribute that is associated with sustainability assurance quality and one which limits the legitimacy threats caused by a lack of sufficient sustainability knowledge.

Practical implications

Given that companies have complete freedom when choosing their assurance providers, the selection of a high-quality incumbent auditor is an indirect measure of social commitment and a mechanism to improve public trust. The results confirm that it is fundamental for firms to understand the situations when choosing an incumbent financial auditor to provide sustainability assurance services is the best way to ensure firm legitimacy while obtaining higher sustainability assurance quality due to the spillover effect. This paper provides useful evidence for firms and managers who can become aware that the legitimacy threat associated with the auditing profession’s questionable competence to conduct efficient sustainability assurance engagements can be reduced if they hire an incumbent financial auditor with greater industry specialization. For assurance providers, the results are especially useful, as they should know that companies will be more likely to choose their incumbent financial auditor when that auditor possesses certain professional attributes, like industry specialization. The ability to assimilate and exploit the knowledge gained through auditing activities can be improved even more by specialization, which enhances sustainability assurance quality.

Social implications

From a social perspective, stakeholders perceive industry specialization as an indicator of the professional skills necessary to increase both the real and perceived quality of sustainability assurance services, thereby limiting the legitimacy threat arising from a lack of sustainability knowledge. The evidence also provides valuable results for regulatory bodies, as it shows that firms are not able to address the legitimacy gap caused by stakeholders’ perceptions that incumbent financial auditors can easily be controlled by companies. Thus, doubts arise as to whether this joint provision undermines auditor independence. Precisely, these doubts about assurance provider independence can erode public confidence in assurance and devalue the quality of the service. The results of this paper highlight the need to strengthen regulation on sustainability reporting and assurance. The advances and relevance of sustainable development in recent years and in future agendas require a firm commitment to sustainability reporting and assurance of quality, reliability, integrity and confidence.

Originality/value

First, this study contributes to recent empirical studies that focus on the role of sustainability assurance services in the legitimation process of corporate sustainability reporting. However, while that research analyzes how the legitimacy theory explains the voluntary adoption of sustainability assurance, this paper adds to the literature by presenting evidence about why certain incumbent auditors are appointed to carry out sustainability assurance services. Second, this paper contributes to the sustainability assurance quality literature. Third, unlike previous studies that have regressed various client-specific and institutional factors that influence firms’ decisions to choose assurance providers, this study contributes to the research by providing knowledge about a set of professional features that may explain the decision model of assurance providers selection from a legitimacy perspective.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 14 December 2004

Kimberly Gladden Burke, Stacy E. Kovar and Penelope J. Prenshaw

The importance of alignment between users’ and providers’ expectations of accounting services has long been recognized as paramount in the auditing profession. The…

Abstract

The importance of alignment between users’ and providers’ expectations of accounting services has long been recognized as paramount in the auditing profession. The importance of expectations, and especially expectations gaps, is even more compelling for new assurance services, where the importance of marketing the service is pronounced. This paper develops the Assurance Gaps Model, which describes expectations gaps in general, defining these holistic differences between users’ and providers’ perceptions of assurance services as assurance gaps. The model suggests that assurance gaps really have a number of components – expectations, evaluations of performance and disconfirmation – all of which impact users’ satisfaction with the service. The magnitude of each of these components, as well as the emphasis placed on each one, is important in describing the nature of the gap. This model is consistent with previous research in auditing as well as a large body of research in marketing studying expectations and the satisfaction process (Oliver, 1997). To illustrate potential applications of the Assurance Gaps Model, hypotheses are developed and tested using an online simulation of the ElderCare assurance service proposed by the AICPA/CICA. Results indicate that users and providers demonstrate similar magnitude of each of the factors in the model, but differ in that users emphasize performance in forming satisfaction judgments while providers emphasize expectations. The study and results illustrate the usefulness of the model for performing detailed analysis of assurance gaps and for suggesting appropriate courses of action to manage the factors that contribute to them.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-280-1

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Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2003

Philip R Beaulieu

When decision makers encounter new assurance services that can be customized for individual clients, they must include them in their pre-existing categorization of…

Abstract

When decision makers encounter new assurance services that can be customized for individual clients, they must include them in their pre-existing categorization of assurance, a cognitive task known as postclassification. This paper draws upon three literatures (classification research in accounting, theory of assurance, and cognitive psychology) in order to suggest how this task might be modeled and studied empirically, using the example of SysTrust™. The role of a necessary condition for successful postclassification called the category use effect (Ross, 2000), in which decision makers are reminded of pre-existing categories when they learn to use new categories, is explained.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-231-3

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Book part
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Austin Tonderai Nyakurerwa

The chapter focused on quality assurance and marketing of library services and products at the Midlands State University (MSU). The chapter's main objective was to…

Abstract

The chapter focused on quality assurance and marketing of library services and products at the Midlands State University (MSU). The chapter's main objective was to identify the quality assurance mechanisms at the MSU Library. The major findings of the research were; the MSU library was practising quality assurance, staff was trained on the latest trends in the profession, the collection was multidisciplinary and in different forms, and that there were Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) used in enhancing service provision. The researcher recommended that the library needed to continuously train librarians on issues to do with quality, improve the infrastructure, introduce Research Data Management to enhance the Research Support Services and improve on the Information Literacy Skills training programmes. The author identified some areas for further research and the major one was that there is need for clarification on the concept of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Ahmed H. Al-Dmour, Masam Abood and Hani H. Al-Dmour

This study aims at investigating the extent of SysTrust’s framework (principles and criteria) as an internal control approach for assuring the reliability of accounting…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at investigating the extent of SysTrust’s framework (principles and criteria) as an internal control approach for assuring the reliability of accounting information system (AIS) were being implemented in Jordanian business organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on primary data collected through a structured questionnaire from 239 out of 328 shareholdings companies. The survey units were the shareholding companies in Jordan, and the single key respondents approach was adopted. The extents of SysTrust principles were also measured. Previously validated instruments were used where required. The data were analysed using t-test and ANOVA.

Findings

The results indicated that the extent of SysTrust being implemented could be considered to be moderate at this stage. This implies that there are some variations among business organizations in terms of their level of implementing of SysTrust principles and criteria. The results also showed that the extent of SysTrust principles being implemented was varied among business organizations based on their business sector. However, there were not found varied due to their size of business and a length of time in business (experience).

Research limitations/implications

This study is only conducted in Jordan as a developing country. Although Jordan is a valid indicator of prevalent factors in the wider MENA region and developing countries, the lack of external validity of this research means that any generalization of the research findings should be made with caution. Future research can be orientated to other national and cultural settings and compared with the results of this study.

Practical implications

The study provides evidence of the need for management to recognize the importance of the implementation of SysTrust principles and criteria as an internal control for assuring the reliability of AIS within their organizations and be aware which of these principles are appropriate to their size and industry sector.

Originality/value

The findings would be valuable for academic researchers, managers and professional accounting to acquire a better undemanding of the current status of the implementation of the SysTrust principles (i.e., availability, security, integrity processing, confidentiality, and privacy) as an internal control method for assuring the reliability of AIS by testing the phenomenon in Jordan as a developing country.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

Stanislav Karapetrovic and Walter Willborn

Quality assurance is the process of providing confidence that the stated or implied requirements for quality are met. In financial investment services, “quality” is…

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4198

Abstract

Quality assurance is the process of providing confidence that the stated or implied requirements for quality are met. In financial investment services, “quality” is defined as the perception of the investor about achieving satisfactory returns under acceptable and generally accepted risks within a planned time. Investor’s confidence in achieving quality stems from the quality assurance efforts and processes of the investment service provider. In this paper, different types of investment services, from a simple provision of investment information, to a full‐service portfolio management are discussed. Principles of quality assurance in investment services are provided. A realistic portfolio management case indicates that a modern quality management system (ISO 9000) can enhance quality assurance and thus the quality of investment services.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2019

Nur Izatul Irani Binti Selim, Suhaiza Zailani, Azmin Azliza Aziz and Muhammad Khalilur Rahman

This study aims to empirically examine a model of the halal logistic services, its impact on manufacturers’ trust and satisfaction.

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1206

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to empirically examine a model of the halal logistic services, its impact on manufacturers’ trust and satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted through survey questionnaires after an extensive review of the literature. A total of 564 samples of the questionnaire were distributed to logistics management representatives of halal manufacturing companies in Malaysia. This survey was carried out to measure the respondents’ perception of halal manufacturers’ satisfaction with third-party logistic (3PL) service providers in Malaysia. The instruments/survey incorporate halal assurance services, halal service diversity and halal service procedure as the antecedents of halal manufacturers’ trust and satisfaction.

Findings

The findings indicate that halal assurance services and halal service procedure are positively associated with manufacturers’ trust and satisfaction, while halal service diversity is not associated with it. The study also shows that manufacturers’ attitude play a mediator role between the halal logistic service and manufacturers’ satisfaction.

Originality/value

The study provides useful information in understanding the importance of halal logistic services and more particularly aims at facilitating 3PL service providers to offer halal logistic services quality that suits the manufacturers’ needs.

Details

Journal of Islamic Marketing, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-0833

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Ernest Emeka Izogo

The purpose of this paper is to examine how firms can influence customer loyalty through customer commitment by leveraging two constructs of service quality: service

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4768

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how firms can influence customer loyalty through customer commitment by leveraging two constructs of service quality: service assurance and service reliability.

Design/methodology/approach

The analyses are based on 138 responses retrieved from experienced users of mobile phone services in one of the big cities in the South-eastern part of Nigeria through a survey questionnaire. The validity and reliability of the measurement model as well as the proposed hypotheses were examined through the partial least squares structural equation modelling procedure.

Findings

Service reliability is a direct predictor of customer loyalty while service assurance is not. Affective commitment has a direct positive effect on customer loyalty and partially mediates the relationship between service reliability and customer loyalty. In contrast, the mediating effects of affective and continuance commitment on the relationship between service assurance and customer loyalty were positive but insignificant. Finally, affective commitment mediates the effect of continuance commitment on customer loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

The mediating role of the individual components of commitment in the links between the individual dimensions of service quality and customer loyalty is largely untested in the literature. This line of inquiry can form the basis for future research proposals. Additionally, the outcomes that emerged from this research must be interpreted with caution due to the size of the sample on which analyses were based. Future research should employ larger samples.

Practical implications

Services organisations especially telecommunication firms may benefit from customer loyalty by pursuing a combined strategy of increasing service assurance, service reliability, affective commitment and continuance commitment both independently and in tandem.

Originality/value

As far as could be established, this paper is the first to explore the mediating effects of affective and continuance commitment on the links between service quality dimensions and customer loyalty.

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