Attributes of Perceived Auditor Independence in Saudi Arabia
Keywords:Auditor, Independence, Perceptions, Attributes, Saudi Arabia
Perceived auditor independence is a key component to ensure trust to different interested parties in accounting information and audit reports. This paper seeks to identify the main attributes of perceived auditor independence in Saudi Arabia. The survey explores the impact of 46 attributes on the perceptions of 32 directors and 31 auditors in Saudi Arabia using questionnaire instrument. Joint audit and partner reviews are considered by Saudi directors as the most important enhancing attribute. Although the presence of an operational audit committee and disclosure of audit fees are the major enhancing attributes for auditors, the provision of non-audit services is considered by directors as the strongest reducing attribute of auditor independence. Whereas existence of a financial relationship between auditor and auditee is considered by auditors as the most important reducing attribute. This study serves to assist auditing policymakers, accounting regulatory bodies, and governments in MENA countries in their attempt to develop policies and guidelines to ensure enhanced auditor independence. The survey enriches the restricted empirical studies on auditor independence in Saudi Arabia.
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