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Unpublished Paper
Engaging Auditors: Field Investigation of a Courtship
  • Shyam Sunder
  • Krista Fiolleau, University of Alberta
  • Kris Hoang, University of Alberta
  • Karim Jamal, University of Alberta
We report results of a field study of the process by which a Canadian publicly-traded company and prospective auditors acquire information about each other and enter an engagement. We obtained documents from the company (including a request for proposal and minutes of audit committee meetings) and bids submitted by audit firms. We also interviewed senior company officers and all prospective audit partners to learn what each party wanted to know about the other, and how they obtained the information they sought. We observed: (1) the audit committee was involved in the process, but management effectively controlled the selection of the external auditor; (2) management gathered detailed information about prospective auditors, but the auditors were reluctant to press the client for information; (3) auditors provided references from senior officers of current clients, and repeatedly demonstrated responsiveness and commitment to management; and (4) auditors engaged in intense price competition. Implications for audit quality and auditor independence are discussed
  • Auditor-Client engagement,
  • information search,
  • independence,
  • field study
Publication Date
May 5, 2010
Citation Information
Shyam Sunder, Krista Fiolleau, Kris Hoang and Karim Jamal. "Engaging Auditors: Field Investigation of a Courtship" (2010)
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