Auditors’ Self-Assessment of Engagement Quality and the Role of Stakeholder Priority
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionAccounting and Business Research. Online First 29 April 2022 10.1080/00014788.2021.2001638
This study investigates auditors’ assessment of the quality of their own audit engagements, utilising survey data gathered from a Big Four audit firm in Sweden. We first examine to what extent auditors’ self-reported audit quality threatening behaviours (AQTBs) in the audit process are reflected in their assessment of overall audit quality (OAQ). The results indicate that AQTBs overall and all individual AQTBs are associated with quality assessment, though with variations in their significances. Second, we examine whether AQTBs and OAQ are associated with an auditor’s stakeholder priority, i.e. which stakeholder the auditor considers as her highest priority in the audit work. We find that auditors who consider the employer as the highest priority report more AQTBs. However, priorities are not related to OAQ. Furthermore, auditors prioritising the client or employer tend to assess the overall audit quality as being higher than what the AQTBs would suggest (i.e. they over-assess the quality). Interestingly, the findings regarding priorities are only evident among partners. In sum, the findings of this study provide important insights on how auditors themselves assess their audit quality, and on the role of auditors’ stakeholder priorities.