The Impact On Audit Independence And The Threats Thereto Accounting Essay

1.0 Introduction

Quality of Audit Report and Independence of Auditors has late been an issue in the corporate universe. “ Non Audit Service ” ( NAS ) is a much talked subject in the universe. Some recent issues have triggered this up more. Particularly it is being said that Non Audit Services affect the independency of hearer.

This paper serves to analysis the impact on audit independency and the menaces thereto, with the support of current corporate issues from believable beginnings and Torahs. It is besides influenced by the recent province of the establishments of charted comptrollers in England and Wales that a limitation in the proviso of non audit service may hold an inauspicious consequence on the implicit in quality of the external Audit.

We will write a custom essay sample on
The Impact On Audit Independence And The Threats Thereto Accounting Essay
or any similar topic only for you
Order now



The term auditing is used to depict a wide scope of activities in the corporate universe. Audit is a signifier of confidence. It is an review of the accounting processs and records performed by a professional charted comptroller or Charted Public Accountant ( Emile Woolf 1990 ) .

The ”Report of commission on Basic Auditing Concepts of the American accounting association ” ( accounting reappraisal, vol 4.7 ) define audit as a systematic procedure of objectively obtaining and measuring grounds and events to assertion the grade of correspondence between those averments and established standards and pass oning the consequences to interested users. ( William C Boynton, Raymond N Johnson and Walter G kell 2001 )

Properties of scrutinizing contained in the definition merits particular remarks:

Communicating the consequences is achieved through a written study that indicates the grade of correspondence between the averments and established standards. The communicating of the consequences enhances or weakens the credibleness of the presentations made by another party.

Audited account is besides referred to as an independent scrutiny by manner of sampling of and showing an sentiment on the fiscal statements of an entity by jury appointed hearer in chase of that assignment. It is notable to foreground the independency portion as it is indispensable and underlies the value of an auditing and sentiment means another hearer can see the same fiscal statements and give a different sentiment ( David Coderre 2009 ) .


Independence is the foundation of the scrutinizing profession. It means that the hearer is impersonal about the entity and hence nonsubjective. The stakeholders can put religion in the audit maps because an hearer is impartial and recongnise an duty for equity. ( Michael J.Pratt 2002 )

Audit independency can besides be defined as the chance that the hearer will describe a discoved breach in the fiscal study. This declared chance is frequently under menace. ( Watts and Zimmerman 1983, 1986 )

Some hearers are sad non to be taking due attention of the ethical criterion because they are engaged in ‘non audit service ‘ from the same audit client contrary to statutory audit service ( Chee-Yeow Lim & A ; Hun Tong Tan 2007 ) .

There is some grounds that proviso of non audit service impairs independency in visual aspect but has either weak or no consequence on independency ( Levitt 2000 ) .

In the aftermath of the Enron bankruptcy, a concern about audit independency has triggered the USA Congress to ordain statute laws that prohibit most auditor providing Non audit Service ( Reinstein, A. & A ; Weirich, T.R. 2002 ) .Regulators concerns about Non audit service are based on the premise that hearers are willing to give their independency In exchange for retaining client that wage big non audit fees.

The hearer map is merely being used as a accelerator to more moneymaking consulting service. The issue has come into focal point following the prostration of WorldCom, Enron and Anther Anderson ( Frankel, Johnson, and Nelson 2002 ) .

3.1 Independence in Mental Attitude

Competence entirely is non sufficient. The hearer must besides be free of client influence in executing the audit and in describing the findings. The hearer must besides run into the independent demand in the AICPA ‘S codification of professional behavior. ( Boynton, Johnson and kell 2001 )


Expect give different position point Frankl, Johnson & A ; Neson describe some grounds consistent with a important and positive association between the ratio of NAS fees to entire fees and alternates for lower fiscal coverage quality. A figure surveies have observed that the relationship between hearers and Board of Directors is possible menace to independency. ( Whisenant, K Raghunandan and S Sankaraguruswamy 2002 )

It is argued that hearers consider companies as presented by their managers as their client instead than stockholders ( Kinney Jr. , W.R. , Palmrose, Z-V. & A ; Scholz, S. 2004 )

Non audit services besides create force per unit area to hearers to let the direction for appropriation. Simunic ( 1984 ) , Beck et Al. ( 1988 ) and Beeler and Hunton ( 2001 ) says that the proviso of non audit services can beef up the hearer ‘s economic bond with the client, thereby increasing the hearer ‘s inducement to assent to client force per unit area, including force per unit area to let net incomes direction.

Other beginnings indicate that the proviso of NAS creates economic bond that weakens Auditor independency and hence reduces audit quality. The regulative organic structures worldwide became cautious about how to protect this and forestall the malpractices. In response the US Congress passed Sarbanes-Oxley Act ( “ SOA ” ) in November 2002.


The SOA efforts to eliminate specified likely struggles of involvement originating out of “ non-audit services ” and gives farther power to the Audit Committee. The commission exists under the commissariats of the Combined Code of corporate administration. The SOA explicitly prohibits big graduated table, large fee fiscal information systems design and execution or information engineering work. This was a really high net income country for the non-audit weaponries of the big accounting houses. The SOA besides bars internal audit outsourcing and “ expert ” services.

There was some confusion over what type of NAS the outside comptrollers could execute for public corporation. In fact, some of the major accounting houses sold their confer withing units in recent old ages in order to avoid possible struggle of involvement. ( Securities and Exchange Commission, 2000 ; Sarbanes-Oxley Act, 2002 ) .


Under the demands of the Combined Code of corporate administration, the audit commission, as minister plenipotentiary of the stockholders, is required to supervise the relationship with the hearers and maintain the nature and extent of non-audit services under reappraisal. Carcello and Neal, 2000, 2003 ) .

This of import undertaking is underpinned by United Kingdom Auditing Standards, which specifically require that, for listed UK companies, audit engagement spouses in the house who are responsible for a company ‘s audit must:

Disclose in composing to the audit commission all relationships between the audit house and the client that may moderately be thought to bear on the house ‘s independency and the objectiveness of the audit battle spouse and staff ( including agreements for guaranting that independency remains when non-audit services are commissioned ) and the related precautions that are in topographic point. ( Vafeas, 1999 ; Xie et al. , 2003 ) .

Confirm that, in their professional judgement, the house is independent and the objectiveness of the audit battle spouse and audit staff is non impaired. ( Hermalin and Weisbach, 2003 )


The SOA set away below nine Non Audit Service forbiding registered accounting houses executing to public companies which can impair audit independency ( SOA subdivision 201 ) .

1. Bookkeeping

Or other services related to the audit client ‘s accounting records or fiscal statements. Presently, an hearer ‘s independency is impaired if the hearer provides clerking services for an audit client. ( Ashbaugh et al. , 2003 ; Chung and Kallapur, 2003 ; Larcker and Richardson, 2004 ; Reynolds et al. , 2004 )

2. Fiscal information systems design and execution

The comptroller is non independent if the accountant designs or implements a system that is or will be used to bring forth information that is important to the audit client ‘s fiscal statements taken as a whole.

3. Appraisal or rating services, fairness sentiments, or contribution-in-kind studies.

The damage of independency is when such services lead to the sensible likeliness that the consequences will be audited by the hearer.

4. Actuarial services

Actuarial services are such services that impairer independency of hearers, unless the audit client uses its ain statisticians or third-party statisticians to supply direction with the primary actuarial capablenesss.

5. Internal audit outsourcing

An hearer is non independent when the hearer performs certain internal audit services for an audit client or an affiliate. However, nonrecurring ratings of distinct points or plans that are non in substance the outsourcing of the internal audit map or operational internal audits unrelated to internal accounting controls, fiscal systems, or fiscal statements are non included as the restrictions related to this point. ( Beeler JD, Hunton JE 2001 )

6. Management maps

The current regulation that prohibits functioning temporarily or for good as a manager, officer, or employee of the audit client or an affiliate or executing any decision-making, supervisory, or ongoing cautionary maps ( Zeff 2006 ) .

7. Human resources

Use of Audit for Non-Audit Services. Independence is impaired with regard to an audit client when the hearer recruits, hires, or designs compensation bundles for officers, managers, or directors of the audit client or its affiliate ( F Gul, B Jaggi and G Krishnan 2007 ) . Independence is besides impaired when the hearer advises an audit client about its or its affiliate ‘s direction or organisational construction, when the hearer develops employee rating plans, or when the hearer conducts psychological or other formal testing of employees ( Levitt, A. 2000 ) .

8. Broker-dealer, investing advisor or investing banking services

An comptroller is non independent if the Acts of the Apostless as a securities professional for an audit client or an affiliate of the audit client ( Beeler, J. D. , and J. E. Hunton 2002 )

9. Legal services

Legal services are deemed to be incompatible with hearer independency and any other service that the accounting board determines, by ordinance, is impermissible.

The SOA besides provides that a registered public accounting house may prosecute in NAS including TAX SERVICE, which is non described in the foregoing nine activities, but merely if the activity is approved in attachment by the audit commission ( SOA subdivision 202 ) .


A member in public pattern shall be independent in public presentation of professional service as required by criterions promulgated by organic structures designed by council.

The regulation incorporates into the codification, by mention, the influence demands in proficient criterions issued by the AICPA ; the organic structures which have issue criterions by including a demand that the CPA be independent are Auditing Standard Board And the Accounting & A ; Review Service Committee e.g. a member must be independent in executing attest service such as fiscal statements of a non public entity. A member is required to be independent in rendering Non Audit Service such as accounting, revenue enhancement and direction consulting service ( Boynton Johnson Kell 2001 ) .


The Institute ‘s ethical codification forbids hearers to supply non-audit services to scrutinize clients if that would show a menace to independency for which no adequate precautions are available. In such fortunes, the house must either vacate as hearer or garbage to provide the Non-Audit Services ( californium. Norris 2000 ) .


When the audited company liquidates the quality of the hearer is frequently scrutinized and called reply. The accusal is made that the hearers have allowed inappropriate accounting interventions because their independency has been compromised either because they have become excessively close to the client. Familiarity dainties will happen because their objectiveness is challenged by overreliance on income from individual beginning ( Gulati, Ranjay. 1995 ) .

Due to this point some believe that the lone solution is for hearers to be prohibited from supplying any service other than audit to a client.

Some believe that unnecessarily curtailing the proviso of Non-Audit Services would hold an unintended, inauspicious consequence on the implicit in quality of the audit through limitations in cognition ( Kotabe, M. , Xavier Martin, and H. Domoto. 2003 ) and accomplishments. The quality of recruits will cut down due to miss of specialisation by comptroller. Dependence on client will make bullying menace. Quality of concern ‘ ain systems will deteriorate, while the costs will increase in proviso of service as two occupations will be done by different houses. The Speed of coverage will diminish due to bureaucratism ( Sharma, D.S. & A ; Sidhu, J. 2001 ) .

7.0 Decision

It is the rights of member that they should be supply Non Audit Service to scrutinize client other services beyond executing an audit. Hearers are non obliged to execute executive maps or do executive determinations. Those are the responsibilities of direction. It is of import that hearers should be cognizant in supplying such services because they can float into a state of affairs as they will be stepping across the boundary line line, of what is proper. Because it will stop up their independency being jeopardized and the value of audit reduced.



A theoretical account of the market for MAS and audit services: cognition spillovers and auditor-audited bonding. J Account Lit 17:50-64 Beeler JD, Hunton JE ( 2001 )

Emile Woolf 1990 Auditing Today 4th edition, published by toilet Wiley & A ; boies. Inc.

David Coderre 2009 Internal Audit- efficiency through Automation published by toilet Wiley & A ; boies. Inc. page 30001 published by toilet Wiley & A ; boies. Inc

Morden Auditing 7th edition.William C Boynton, Raymond N Johnson and Walter G kell 2 page 53


Ashbaugh, Hollis, Ryan LaFond, and Brian W. Mayhew. 2003. Make Nonaudit Services

A Journal of Practice & A ; Theory, Vol.3, no.2, pp. 89-97 Reinstein, A. & A ; Weirich, T.R. 2002, ‘Accounting Issues at Enron ‘

F Gul, B Jaggi and G Krishnan, “ Auditor independency: grounds on the joint effects of hearer term of office and non-audit fees ” , Auditing: A Journal of Practice & A ; Theory, Vol 26, No 2, 2007.

R Frankel, M Johnson and K Nelson, “ The relation between hearers ‘ fees for non-audit services and net incomes direction ” ,

The Accounting Review, Vol 71, 2002.

Improvement in the U.S. And Nipponese Automotive Industries. Strategic Management Journal 24 ( 4 ) : 293-316.

Compromise Auditor Independence? Further Evidence. The Accounting Review Journal 78 ( 3 ) : 611-39.

Kotabe, M. , Xavier Martin, and H. Domoto. 2003. Deriving From Vertical Partnerships: Knowledge Transfer, Relationship Duration, and Supplier Performance

Non-Audit Services, and Restatements: Was the U.S. Government Right? , Journal of Accounting Research, vol.42, no.3, pp. 561-588 Levitt, A. 2000

Journal of Accounting Research 22 ( 2 ) : 679-702. Sharma, D.S. & A ; Sidhu, J. 2001, ‘Professionalism vs Commercialism.

Journal of Accounting Research, Vol 47.N1.March 2009 editors: Ray Ball, Phili G, Merle Erickson, Richard Leftwich, Douglas J Skinner and Abbie Smith page 12

Norris, F. Three Big Accounting Firms Assail SEC ‘s Proposed Restrictions. The New York Times ( July 27 ) : C9.

Gulati, Ranjay. 1995. Does Familiarity Breed Trust? the Implications of Repeated Tiesfor Contractual Choice in Alliances. Academy of Management Journal 38 ( 1 ) : 85-112.

3 S Whisenant, K Raghunandan and S Sankaraguruswamy, “ Evidence on the joint finding of audit and non-audit fees ” , Journal of Accounting Research, Vol 41, No 4, 2003.

How the U.S. Accounting Profession Got where It Is Today: Part II ‘ , Accounting Horizons,, Zeff2006

The CPA Journal, Vol. 73, No. 1, pp 48-51. Beeler, J. D. , and J. E. Hunton 2002

Journal of Business Finance & A ; Accountancy, vol, 29, no.5 & A ; 6, pp. 661-693 Kinney Jr. , W.R. , Palmrose, Z-V. & A ; Scholz, S. 2004, ‘Auditor Independence, Non-Audit Services, and Restatements: Was the U.S. Government Right? ,

University of South Carolina CheeYeow Lim & A ; Hun-Tong Tan June 2007, Non-Audit Service Fees and Audit Quality


107th Congress. 2002. Sarbanes Oxley Act of 2002. Available at: hypertext transfer protocol: // dbname=107_cong_public_laws & A ; docid=f: publ204.07 ( accessed on 10/06/2010 ) and hypertext transfer protocol: // ( accessed on 10/05/2010 )


Hi there, would you like to get such a paper? How about receiving a customized one? Check it out