Audit Quality: Perception of Audit Practitioners in Sri Lanka
The quality of the audit plays an important role in the financial markets as a factor which creates the investor confidence is auditor’s opinion on the financial statements. Number of companies collapsed globally and as well as locally as a result of allegations made by employees of those companies. However, the audit report of these companies did not address any problems which were existed in the companies. Therefore, it is questionable whether the quality of audits is achieved. A standardized audit quality framework does not exist in Sri Lanka to measure audit quality. The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (ICASL) has issued Sri Lanka Standard on Quality Control (SLSQC) to maintain the audit quality in Sri Lanka. However, it is not sufficient to measure the audit quality. In most of the developed countries, a separate audit quality framework exists as a guide to measure the audit quality. In the absence of such a framework, this study is aimed at examining the perception of junior level auditors on the audit quality indicators and how they prioritize audit quality indicators in order to enhance the audit quality. In order to achieve this objective, a questionnaire was developed and distributed among 120 junior-level auditors who work at Audit Firms in Sri Lanka. A total of 76 responses were able to obtain. The data was analysed using descriptive statistics. As per the results of this study, the factor which has a significant effect on the audit quality is the mental/ psychical status of the auditor. Moreover, the results also suggest audit engagements carried out based on the ethical standard rather than based on the legal standard has an effect on increasing the quality of the audits performed. Further, the perception of the junior level auditors differs based on the gender, academic qualifications and position in the firm for certain audit quality indicators. Based on the results of this study it can be recommended to adopt a new audit quality framework by the government relevant governing bodies to enhance the audit quality in Sri Lanka.
Keywords: Auditors, Audit Quality, Perception, Sri Lanka