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Auditing Fair Value measurements and Disclosures: A case of the Big 4 Audit Firms
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2013 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


Problem: In today’s business environment, rising demand in financial reporting and frequent changes in accounting frameworks lead to an increased focus on reliability in Fair Value Measurement (FVM) and disclosures. The frequent changes in accounting frameworks create a challenge for managers in measuring accounting estimates accurately and have been an exceedingly difficult task. The difficult task is that of the auditors. How would auditors endorse and ensure the reliability and relevance of financial statements? Also how could they evaluate the accuracy of the measurement of fair values as presented in the financial statements? (IFAC, 2011, ISA 540).

Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to explore the methods and approaches used by auditors while auditing fair values from practical perspectives.

Method: A multiple case study with pure qualitative methods and an inductive approach has been adopted. The qualitative method used a semi-structured interview to collect data. 

Result: The result shows that by understanding the challenges and following the phases of auditing, auditors can maintain the quality of financial reporting. Four key audit phases are relevant to audit FVM. These are: understanding the Client-Business environment, Engagement, Internal Control, and Planning phases of auditing. Furthermore, the results revealed key challenges of auditing FVM and disclosures. These challenges are information insufficiency in the market (reliability), competence, auditors’ lack of fair value audit exposure, and the manager's leadership role and style. Moreover, as previous studies on FV have primarily relied on synthesis of academic literature, the thesis contributes knowledge to academia by using an empirical approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 84 p.
Keyword [en]
Fair Value Measurement and Disclosures, Management Bias, Verification, Reliability, and Phases of Auditing.
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-67452OAI: diva2:611984
Educational program
Master's Programme in Accounting
2012-11-15, S 308, Umea University, School of Business, Umea, 12:12 (English)
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2013-04-10 Created: 2013-03-19 Last updated: 2013-04-10Bibliographically approved

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