3rd Audit in Europe Conference

Friday 25 Nov 2011

Conférence / séminaire

Friday 25 Nov 2011

08.30 - 17.30

Centre de conférences de la Chambre de Commerce

The topic of the 2011 conference is: "Audit Quality Revisited: What Do We Know and What Can We Still Learn?" The conference objective is to discuss the recent research findings on audit quality and to critically reflect on those findings with experienced practitioners. Speakers from universities and the audit profession will draw a holistic picture of the audit quality in Europe. In the aftermath of spectacular bankruptcies, regulatory interventions and the financial crisis, it is time to critically reflect on the level of audit quality that we have achieved.

Francis (2004) stated: "[O]utright audit failure rates are infrequent [...] and audit fees are quite small [...]. This suggests there may be an acceptable level of audit quality at a relatively low cost. [...] The evidence is very positive although there is some indication that audit quality may have declined in the 1990's." If this did indeed happen, recent and planned reforms within and outside the European Union can prove beneficial by improving audit quality.

Besides this narrow discussion of audit quality, we need to discuss a much broader perspective on audit quality. In the wake of the financial crisis, we need to investigate the wider environment within which audits are conducted. Audit quality is affected by the market conditions in which statutory audits are undertaken. The audit markets within the European Union are mainly dominated by the Big4 audit firms, which is not only a systemic risk, but this also increases the price competition between the Big4 audit firms to a point where the critical question is whether audit fees are too low for a satisfactory audit quality level (see European Commission, Green Paper "Audit Policy: Lessons from the Crisis", 2010).

Finally we have to discuss how academia can contribute to ensuring high audit quality by educating prospective auditors.

For further information on the programme or in order to register for the conference please click here.