Regional variation in the SME-audit firm relationship
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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The purpose of the paper is to examine how the relationship between small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and their auditor varies between regions. Auditing literature, regional, and network studies are used to set up hypotheses on differences between rural regions and the metropolitan urban region. Survey data from 421 SMEs are analyzed and findings support that in rural regions, especially those with a strong entrepreneurial culture and tight inter-organizational links, the SME-auditor relationship is to a larger extent trust-based compared to the urban region. In the rural region, the auditor assumes the role as a business support agent providing valuable strategic advice. The SME-auditor relationship is weakest in the urban region where the auditor’s role is limited.
This is the authors’ final, accepted and refereed manuscript to the article