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  • 1.
    Svanberg, Jan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Application of moral norms in accounting as communication: How self-efficacy may impact on morality2013In: ARSP. Archiv für Rechts- und Socialphilosophie, ISSN 0001-2343, E-ISSN 2363-5614, Vol. 99, no 1, p. 95-114Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Accounting ethics is a growing field which is devoted to how ethical norms are perceived, understood, and how they affect behavior of professional accountants and auditors. The fi eld concerns what legal sociology could define as the effectiveness of a set of norms. The present study adopts a Luhmann-inspired theoretical framework and questions three assumptions that are common among the main thrust of empirical research on accounting ethics. This study proposes that the effectiveness of ethical norms in accounting as the outcome of self-assessments, client-assessments and peer-assessments in which the ethical norms operate as a communication system. The perceived utility of the system of ethical norms appears to the individual as dependent on how capable the individual believes him/herself to be at communicating with the environment through ethical terminology. This system-theoretical definition of the effectiveness of ethical norms in accounting allows new research questions to be asked regarding how ethical norms become a viable alternative for solving accounting problems in practice.

  • 2.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Auditors’ identification with their clients: Effects on audit quality2015In: The British Accounting Review, ISSN 0890-8389, E-ISSN 1095-8347, Vol. 47, no 4, p. 395-408Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Although client familiarity is desirable from the auditor's perspective, identifying with clients threatens auditor objectivity. This study examines the extent to which non-Big 4 auditors identify with clients, the effect of auditor–client identification on auditors' client acquiescence to client-preferred treatment, and, finally, whether the harmful effects of auditor–client identification can be extended to a broader set of reduced audit quality acts. The responses of 141 practicing auditors at non-Big 4 firms in Sweden support our theoretical predictions. We find that auditors tend to identify with their clients, and that an auditor who identifies relatively more with a client is more likely to acquiesce to client-preferred treatment and to commit reduced audit quality acts. While previous research has considered only Big 4 firms, the current findings suggest that the problems with auditor identification with clients also hold for non-Big 4 auditors.

  • 3.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism.
    Auditors' issue contingency of reduced audit quality acts: Perceptions of managers and partners2019In: International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, ISSN 1740-8008, Vol. 15, no 1, p. 57-88Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines how managers and partners in audit firms perceive the moral intensity of various reduced audit quality (RAQ) acts, and whether perceived moral intensity affects the likelihood of these acts being committed. We surveyed managers and partners employed by audit firms operating in Sweden, measuring their perceptions of the moral intensity of seven RAQ acts using Jones' (1991) moral intensity scale and their self-reported frequencies of these acts. The study finds that managers and partners regard RAQ acts as morally serious, and that the moral intensity of an RAQ act is negatively related to the frequency of the act's occurrence for three of the seven acts. This suggests that managers' and partners' moral intensity perceptions do not unequivocally discourage auditors from committing these offences.

  • 4.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Auditors' time pressure: Does ethical culture support audit quality?2013In: Managerial Auditing Journal, ISSN 0268-6902, E-ISSN 1758-7735, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 572-591Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to address the impact of ethical culture on audit quality under conditions of time budget pressure. The study also tests the relationship between ethical culture and time budget pressure. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on a field survey of financial auditors employed by audit firms operating in Sweden. Findings: The study finds relationships between three ethical culture factors and reduced audit quality acts. The ethical environment and the use of penalties to enforce ethical norms are negatively related to reduced audit quality acts, whereas the demand for obedience to authorities is positively related to reduced audit quality acts. Underreporting of time is not related to ethical culture, but is positively related to time budget pressure. Finally, the study finds a relationship between two ethical culture factors and time budget pressure, indicating a possible causal relationship, but ethical culture does not mediate an indirect effect of time budget pressure on reduced audit quality acts. Originality/value: This is the first study to report the effect of ethical culture on dysfunctional auditor behavior using actual self-reported frequencies of reduced audit quality acts and underreporting of time as data. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

  • 5.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Does charismatic client leadership constrain auditor objectivity?2017In: Behavioral Research in Accounting, ISSN 1050-4753, E-ISSN 1558-8009, Vol. 29, no 1, p. 103-118Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examines whether charismatic client leadership constrains the objectivity of auditor judgment. Previous accounting research has found that auditors who identify with their clients suffer from objectivity impairment because they agree with their clients more than do other auditors. Related to this, leadership research claims that followers’ identification with a collective makes them susceptible to charismatic leader influence. Based on leadership theory, we anticipate that auditor objectivity may be constrained when leadership is perceived as charismatic, even disregarding the fact that the auditor is not a member of the client’s organization. A cross-sectional design was used and responses from Swedish auditors were analyzed statistically. The findings indicate that perceived charismatic leadership is associated with constrained auditor objectivity.

  • 6.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Does ethical culture in audit firms support auditor objectivity?2016In: Accounting in Europe, ISSN 1744-9480, E-ISSN 1744-9499, Vol. 13, no 1, p. 65-79Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The suggested cause of constrained auditor objectivity has been centred on auditors' financial incentives and long audit tenure. Recent research has challenged those assumptions and questioned the effectiveness of auditor rotation to counteract short-tenure threats to auditor objectivity. Audit firms and regulators need to adopt methods for enhancing auditor objectivity that are effective in various auditor–client relationships. This study examines whether audit firm ethical culture is positively related to auditor objectivity. Based on the responses of 281 practising auditors, the findings indicate that auditors are more likely to make objective judgments in ethical cultures characterized by the rewarding of ethical behaviour and punishment of unethical behaviour, prevalence of ethical norms, visible ethical leadership, and low emphasis on obedience to authority. In conclusion, evidence indicates that auditors in audit firms with a strong ethical culture are more likely to maintain auditor objectivity than are auditors in less supportive cultures. This suggests that audit firms should promote a strong ethical culture to reduce the risk of constrained auditor judgment.

  • 7.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Lost revenues associated with going concern modified opinions in the Swedish audit market2014In: Journal of Applied Accounting Research, ISSN 0967-5426, E-ISSN 1758-8855, Vol. 15, no 2, p. 197-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to examine the costs to audit firms in terms of lost revenues of losing small clients due to auditor switching or client bankruptcy after issuing first-time going concern modified opinions. Design/methodology/approach - A population of small Swedish companies receiving first-time going concern modified opinions in 2009 was examined to determine the effects two years later compared with a matched sample of financially stressed companies that had not received going concern modified opinions. Findings - The results indicate that both auditor switching and client bankruptcy are positively related to receipt of going concern modified opinions. Furthermore, the authors find empirical evidence that auditors issuing first-time going concern modified opinions lose proportionately more fees through auditor switching and client bankruptcy than do auditors not issuing such opinions to financially stressed clients. Finally, the authors found that the going concern modified opinions issued by Big 4 firms are no more harmful to clients than are those issued by other audit firms. Research limitations/implications - The authors recognize a limitation of this study regarding the choice of control companies. Although the authors attempted to find similarly sized and similarly financially stressed companies from the same industries as those companies in the test group, the authors may have missed other variables relevant to auditor switching or client bankruptcy. Practical implications - A practical implication for the audit profession is the increased awareness of the fact that the financial dependence issues reported in this study extend to auditors with small client companies. Originality/value - This is the first study to examine fees lost due to auditor switching and client bankruptcy caused by going concern modified opinions in a population of small companies. It contributes to the mixed evidence presented in previous research as to the extent to which going concern modified audit opinions are self-fulfilling prophecies.

  • 8.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    The effects of time budget pressure, organizational–professional conflict, and organizational commitment on dysfunctional auditor behavior2016In: International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, ISSN 1740-8008, Vol. 12, no 2, p. 131-150Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study tests several hypotheses regarding the relationships between time budget pressure, organisational-professional conflict, organisational commitment, and various forms of dysfunctional auditor behaviour. Data were collected from a sample of experienced auditors in Sweden, and the response rate was 21.4%. The results indicate that time budget pressure has an impact on under-reporting of time (URT), but not on reduced audit quality (RAQ) acts. Simultaneously, the organisational-professional conflict in accounting firms exerts an important influence on RAQ acts, but has no effect on URT. Contrary to our expectations, organisational commitment has no impact on RAQ acts or URT. The overall results indicate that aligning accounting firms’ ethical cultures with professional values is an effective method to reduce the likelihood that auditors will commit RAQ acts, and that decreased time budget pressure may reduce URT.

  • 9.
    Svanberg, Jan
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Öhman, Peter
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Neidermeyer, Presha E.
    West Virginia Univ, Dept Accounting, Morgantown, USA.
    The relationship between transformational client leadership and auditor objectivity2017In: ACCOUNTING AUDITING & ACCOUNTABILITY JOURNAL, ISSN 0951-3574, Vol. 30, no 5, p. 1142-1159Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether transformational leadership affects auditor objectivity. Design/methodology/approach - The investigation is based on a field survey of 198 practicing auditors employed by audit firms operating in Sweden. Findings - This study finds that transformational client leadership negatively affects auditor objectivity and that the effect is only partially mediated by client identification. Given these results, suggesting that auditors are susceptible to influence by their clients' perceived exercise of transformational leadership, leadership theory appears relevant to the discussion of auditor objectivity in the accounting literature. Originality/value - Previous accounting research has applied the social identity theory framework and found that client identification impairs auditor objectivity. However, the effect of transformational client leadership on auditor objectivity, which reflects an intense auditor-client relationship, has been neglected before this study.

  • 10.
    Öhman, Peter
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Svanberg, Jan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Påverkar en identifiering med klienterna revisorers oberoende?2015Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 11.
    Öhman, Peter
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Svanberg, Jan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Sambandet mellan etisk kultur och revisorers oberoende2016Report (Other academic)
  • 12.
    Öhman, Peter
    et al.
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Svanberg, Jan
    Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Business, Economics and Law.
    Äventyras revisorers oberoende av karismatiska klienter?2017Report (Other academic)
1 - 12 of 12
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