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Title: The application of business risk audit methodology within non-Big-4 firms
Author: Kutum, Imad
ISNI:       0000 0004 0123 5282
Awarding Body: University of Stirling
Current Institution: University of Stirling
Date of Award: 2010
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This research is motivated by interest in recent changes in the audit approaches of audit firms. The business risk audit approach has been adopted based on assertions about its benefits by administrators of large audit firms and academics linked with these firms and, more recently, has been legitimised by the issuance of international auditing standards that give recognition to this approach. Studies investigating the business risk audit approach have relied on the content of audit manuals of large audit firms and pointed to claimed benefits, such as providing consistency of worldwide audit practice, broadening auditors’ awareness of risks, increasing audit effectiveness and efficiency, and creating more value for audit clients. In investigating this recent change in audit approaches, this thesis is concerned with the application of the business risk audit approach within the non-Big-4 audit firms, with a focus on three countries: the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The research focuses on the motivation for adopting this approach for non-Big-4 audit firms in the three countries, and the advantages, disadvantages and aftermath of applying this method. These issues are addressed through research methods comprising semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey. These methods are deemed appropriate to provide consideration of the contextual factors affecting the non-Big-4 audit firms and audit practice in the three countries examined. The findings show that non-Big-4 audit firms in the three countries adopted the business risk audit; their motivation was primarily to follow the standards in each country and to follow the general trend in the industry. The advantages were consistent with previous research; there was direct benefit to audit effectiveness and risk management. One major disadvantage of applying this method was the cost burden to both the audit firm and their clients. Some of the interviewees claimed that this method is better suited to large firms and large audits. Overall evidence from this research shows that this method helped auditors better understand their clients and assess the risk associated with the audit process. Auditors from non-Big-4 firms expressed their interest that the business risk audit should remain in use with some modification to fit small and medium audits. This study also contributes to the literature on the internationalisation of audit practice and the audit practice of small- and medium-sized audit firms, which is lacking in existing research related to this group.
Supervisor: Fraser, Ian ; Hussainey, Khaled Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Auditing ; Business Risk AUdit ; Audit Methodology ; Auditing ; Risk management