this is an auditing subject essay.
a) Discuss whether the provision of non-audit services by external audit firms is advantageous or disadvantageous. (50%)
b) Explain how regulators seek to reduce the threat perceived to be posed by such provision, focusing on regulation in the UK and on international ethical standards. (50%)
You are advised to consider the following questions in researching, planning and writing your essay:
– Which stakeholders might derive advantage or disadvantage from the provision of non-audit services (NAS) by external auditors?
– Is there one group of stakeholders whose interests might be considered paramount?
– What are the arguments for and against the provision of NAS by external auditors?
– What international professional regulation is relevant to this question?
– What UK regulations are relevant to this question?
– Has academic research or auditing theory helped resolve this issue?
Please ONLY use the following Sources:
The course text (Porter, Simon & Hatherly, 2014, pp. 132-139) contains introductory material on this area. There has been extensive academic research. The starting point into this might be some of the additional reading identified for this area in the course text (Habib, 2012; Quick & Warming-Rasmussen, 2009), although the most comprehensive summary of the literature in this area is Beattie & Fearnley (2002), although it cannot be taken as up-to-date on current regulation. The easiest way into an understanding of recent regulatory developments in the UK and EU could be any one of the many articles on professional websites (ICAEW, 2016). International regulation on the provision of non-audit services can be found in the handbook of the IESBA (IFAC, 2015).
Beattie, V. and Fearnley, S. 2002. Auditor Independence and Non-Audit Services:
A Literature Review. Online at: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.474.5525&rep=rep1&type=pdf.
Habib, A. 2012. Non-Audit Service Fees and Financial Reporting Quality: A Meta-Analysis, in Abacus, June 2012, Vol. 48 Issue 2, pp. 214-248. Online at: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-6281.2012.00363.x/epdf.
ICAEW. 2016. Implementation of European Audit reforms. Online at:
IFAC. 2015. Handbook of the Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants, pp.77-100. Online at:
Porter, B., Simon, J. and Hatherly, D. 2014. Principles of External Auditing (4th edition), Chichester, Wiley.
Quick, R. and Warming-Rasmussen, B. 2009. Auditor Independence and the
Provision of Non-Audit Services: Perceptions by German Investors, in International Journal of Auditing, Vol. 13: pp. 141162. Online at https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bent_Rasmussen/publication/228299001_Auditor_Independence_and_the_Provision_of_Non-Audit_Services_Perceptions_by_German_Investors/links/0c960521b4e0444314000000.pdf.
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