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Title: The study of the audit expectations gap in the public sector of Malaysia
Author(s): Mat Daud, Zaidi
Supervisor(s): Ball, Rob
Fraser, Ian A. M
Keywords: Performance Auditing
Public Sector
Issue Date: Sep-2007
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: The audit expectations gap is a prominent issue in the private sector. However, in the public sector, the audit expectations gap is an emerging issue that has received little attention by reseachers. To date, only a limited number of studies on the audit expectations gap in the public sector are available, either in the context of a financial audit or a performance audit. This study focused on the audit expectations gap in the context of the latter. The importance of the performance audit function in the Malaysian public sector, combined with recent developments related to this type of audit in the country (such as increasing expectations among the users and associated problems in practice) were the reasons for conducting the study in this area. Thus, the study aims to identify the existence of the audit expectations gap in the Malaysian public sector. In achieving this objective, it explores the perceptions of auditors and Public Account Committee (PAC) members, auditees and ‘other users’ (consisting of journalists, politicians and academics). The conceptual framework in this study was developed based on Chowdhury’s (1996) and Porter’s (1993) approaches. Utilising the accountability-based framework as suggested by Chowdhury, six audit concepts (auditor independence, auditor competence, audit scope, auditor ethics, audit reporting and auditing standards) were examined. Porter’s model was subsequently utilised to identify the nature and the components of the gap. This study employed two types of research methods: interviews and audit report analysis. Interviews were conducted with 37 participants comprising of auditors, PAC members, auditees and ‘other users’. The second research method involved the examination of four performance audit reports. The findings of this study indicated that the audit expectations gap exists in the Malaysian public sector in the context of performance auditing. The analysis of interviews and audit reports clearly suggest that the audit expectations gap exists over a number of auditing issues. These comprise fraud detection exercises, the influence of management, executive and other parties on auditors, outsourcing the audit to private audit firms, content and format of the audit report and extending the audit mandate to cover the question of merits of policy.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: Stirling Management School
Accounting and Finance

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