A Study on Auditor Liability in Sweden: In the Light of the BDO-Case
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Background and Problem: The amount of litigations against negligent auditors has increased rapidly recent years. In Sweden, auditor liability is unlimited which has caused a situation where auditors are exposed to a great risk of being imposed with fines larger than they can manage. There have been several examples of lawsuits in Sweden where auditors have been held responsible for damage relating to a neglectful audit. The BDO-case, finalised in 2014, is an example of such a lawsuit. The case particularly treated questions that concerned the width of auditor liability and what damage an auditor may reasonably be held liable for, and what one may expect from an investor. The case has been argued to be important for the audit profession, not least in the wake of the much debated Prosolvia-case, where an auditor was sentenced to pay a 2,1 billion SEK fine. Due to the recent finalisation of the BDO-case no similar cases have been treated so far, thus it is impossible to state possible impacts with certainty. Though, with regards to the reasoning of the court there is a possibility to examine possible impacts on auditor liability in Sweden.
Purpose and Method: The purpose of the thesis is to examine possible impacts of the BDO-case on auditor liability in Sweden. The purpose has been fulfilled by a detailed case study of the BDO-case with a particular focus on width of auditor liability and the causality judgment. For enhanced understanding and for informative reasons, a brief analysis of the causality judgment in the Prosolvia-case has been included.
Analysis and Conclusions: A reasonable assumption is that the BDO-case will have an impact on the causality judgment in similar lawsuits; this implies that it could be more difficult to indicate causality between a negligent auditor and damage caused. It is further found that the width of auditor liability has been clarified and probably somewhat restricted, though it is impossible to be certain of the extent of the restriction.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 55 p.
Auditor liability, BDO-case, Prosolvia-case, causality, width of auditor liability, expectation gap
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30020ISRN: JU-IHH-FÖA-2-20160183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-30020DiVA: diva2:930290
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration