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A survey of time budget pressure and irregular auditing practices among newly-qualified UK Chartered Accountants

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The paper reports a postal survey of successful finalists of the exams of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. The auditing profession has faced increasing cost pressure arising from competition and economic recession. Firms have striven to increase audit efficiency and reduce chargeable time. It was hypothesized that time budget pressure and other factors might produce irregular short cuts in audit procedures: i.e. that similar behaviour to that reported by Raghunathan (1991) and other studies would be found in the UK. Respondents were asked about the impact of time budget pressures on their work, about irregular auditing practices similar to premature sign off and certain contextual variables. An appreciable incidence of irregular auditing was discovered which was associated, inter alia, with perceptions of time budget pressure, perception of a firm culture of acceptance of irregular short cuts and areas of work which were felt to be unimportant. The implications of the findings for the auditing profession and individual firms are considered together with recommendations for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Number of pages20
JournalThe British Accounting Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996

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