Trust in auditing – The effects of trust on the auditor-client relationship

  • Project

    The assurance provided by auditing services is an important contribution to capital market stability and to the successful interaction between finance and the real economy. In spite of increasingly strict regulations, the accounting sector has recently come under widespread attack for not sufficiently fulfilling its investigatory function, according to critics. To better understand this conflict, WU’s Research Institute for Liberal Professions conducts a study on the role of trust in the auditor-client relationship.
    Trust is often implied to have a negative effect on the auditing process, mainly due to a perceived loss of auditor independence. Recent studies in trust research have shown that trust can have very positive effects on the efficiency and efficacy of exchange relationships, but before now, these results have only rarely been applied to research on auditor-client relations.

    This project aims to close this gap by applying concepts already well-established in trust research to current questions in auditing. An empirical survey of auditor/client pairs will investigate the influence of trust in the relationship on the individual success of the auditor, the individual success of the audited company and the joint success of the auditing relationship.
    On a theoretical level, the economic implications of trust in the relationship between auditor and auditee are a valuable contribution to the recent scientific discourse on the auditing profession and the study’s results will offer interesting conclusions which can be used in future policy-making decisions. On a practical level, these results provide insights on how to use relationship management techniques for a more efficient and effective auditing process.

  • People

    • Matthias Fink

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  • Aschauer, E., Fink, M., Moro, A., van Bakel-Auer, K. and Warming-Rasmussen, B. (forthcoming): Interpersonal Trust and Professional Skepticism in the Relationship between Auditors and Clients – Overcoming the Dichotomy Myth. Behavioural Research in Accounting.
  • Aschauer, E., Fink, M., van Bakel-Auer, K., Warming-Rasmussen, B. 2013. Familiarity Threat Argument Revisited: Confidence, Trust, and Professional Skepticism. American Accounting Association Conference 2013, Anaheim, Vereinigte Staaten/USA, 03.08.-07.08.
  • Aschauer, E., Fink, M., van Bakel-Auer, K., Warming-Rasmussen, B. 2013. Familiarity Threat Argument Revisited: Confidence, Trust and Professional Skepticism. European Accounting Association – Annual Congress, Paris, Frankreich, 06.05.-08.05
  • Aschauer, E., van Bakel-Auer, K., Fink, M. 2011. Understanding the Role of Trust in Auditing – A Research Note on the Cornerstones of an Interdisciplinary Research Program. European Accounting Association, Rome, Italien, 20.04.-22.04.