The application of business risk audit methodology within non-Big-4 firms

Imad Kutum, Ian Fraser, Khaled Hussainey

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    Purpose – This paper aims to explore the application of the business risk audit (BRA) approach within non-Big-4 audit firms in the USA, the UK and Canada. This paper focuses on the motivation for adopting this approach for non-Big-4 audit firms in the three countries, and the advantages, disadvantages and aftermath of applying this method.

    Design/methodology/approach – A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to obtain the data necessary to address the research questions was used.

    Findings – It is found that non-Big-4 audit firms in the three countries have adopted BRA; their motivation was primarily to follow the standards in each country, and the general trend in the industry. The advantages identified are consistent with previous research; a direct benefit was noted for audit effectiveness and risk management for both clients and auditors. One major disadvantage of applying BRAis the cost burden to both the audit firm and their clients. Some of the interviewees claimed that this method is better suited to large firms and large audits.

    Originality/value – This is an innovative study that addresses a contemporary auditing issue. The majority of the audit research studies concentrate on the big audit firm practices; this study is the first to examine the application of audit practices within smaller audit firms.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)226-246
    JournalJournal of Financial Reporting and Accounting
    Issue number2
    Early online date5 Oct 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


    • external audit
    • financial reporting
    • accounting
    • auditing


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