La calidad del servicio de auditoría: Los auditores vistos por sus «clientes»

M. Antonia García, Pascual Garrido, Antonio Vico, Peter Moizer, Christopher Humphrey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an empirical analysis of the image that financial directors, drawn from the top 2000 Spanish companies, have of their auditors. The findings presented are the result of a questionnaire survey wich utilised a «semantic differential» testing instrument to explore 30 different dimensions of audit image. The paper compares the image that financial directors have of their actual auditors with that they regard as an «ideal» audit image. Such a comparison reveals how satisfied top company management are with their auditors, both in terms of Big Six and Non-Big six audit firms. A key finding to emerge from the analysis is that the responses of financial directors do not distinguish between Big Six and Non-Big Six firms in terms of audit-work related dimensions such as technical competence and ethical principles.' The main discriminating factors between the two types of audit firms relate to dimensions such as international service coverage and a well-known client base. Such a position supports arguments in the existing audit literature regarding the questionable reputation benefits of producing high quality audit work, and contrasts with standard assumptions that Big Six audit firms provide higher, quality audits than Non-Big Six firms. In terms of overall satisfaction with their auditors, there were 18 of the 30 dimensions on which financial directors felt that Big Six and NonBig Six auditors were performing at a level significantly different from what they would regard as ideal. Not surpisingly, they want less expensive audits, but more unexpectedly, they would like auditors to be more willing to take risks and to be more imaginative in the way they conduct their work. Interestingly, financial directors of companies audited by Big Six firms wanted their auditors to be less strong internationally and to be less well-known.
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)1005-1041
Number of pages36
JournalRevista Espanola de Financiacion y Contabilidad
Issue number102
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1999

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