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The relationship between accountants and external auditors: A case study from client’s perspective on subordinate level
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The nature of the auditor-client relationship is a complex aggregate involving a number of groups and individuals between both parties. Although auditor-client relationship is an important subject in the accounting and auditing literature, what has not been extensively studied is the complex relationship between the clients accounting staff and the external audit group at subordinate organization level. Thus, the purpose of this study is to dig deeper into the relationship between clients accounting staff and external audit team consisting of junior and senior auditors and to find out what characterizes this relationship. We also aim to look it from knowledge management and trust perspectives since these are special characteristics of both professions. In order to find empirical results we conducted a qualitative research with a case study by interviewing three accountants and one controller in the same mother company who do financial work for four subsidiaries. They all work together with several auditor groups and therefore could provide us a good comparison to our results. Our study reveals that the relationship is maintained on the subordinate level by the senior auditor who works not only as an auditor but also as a relationship manager. Furthermore, we identify the fact that lower competence of junior auditors creates problems in relationship with client’s accountants. Therefore, our accountant respondents are more likely to allocate low trust to inexperienced junior auditors, specially due to the fact that accountants are the ones teaching the junior auditors in specific accounting issues which is time consuming and often leads to irritation on the accountants side. However, accountants’ trust towards the senior auditors turns out to be high due to recognized expertise knowledge of senior auditors based on our interviews. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 40 p.
Keyword [en]
accountant; external auditor; auditor-client relationship; subordinate level; audit performance; knowledge; trust.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-207957DiVA: diva2:650547
Subject / course
Business Studies
Educational program
Ekonomie kandidatprogrammet
Available from: 2013-10-03 Created: 2013-09-23 Last updated: 2013-10-03Bibliographically approved

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