HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

Le nouveau rapport d'audit : les key audit matters ou les prémices d'une revalorisation annoncée

Goffin, Alexandre ULiège
Promotor(s) : Fank, Félix ULiège
Date of defense : 4-Sep-2017/11-Sep-2017 • Permalink :
Title : Le nouveau rapport d'audit : les key audit matters ou les prémices d'une revalorisation annoncée
Author : Goffin, Alexandre ULiège
Date of defense  : 4-Sep-2017/11-Sep-2017
Advisor(s) : Fank, Félix ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Niessen, Wilfried ULiège
Trevisan, Vincent 
Language : French
Number of pages : 104
Keywords : [en] Key Audit Matters
[en] audit quality
[en] auditor's drafting quality
[en] audit fees
[en] audit delay
[en] ISA 701
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Accounting & auditing
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en ingénieur de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en Performance Management and Control
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] After the global financial crisis, investors confidence in the corporate financial reporting dramatically dropped. In fact, from that moment, investors started to call into question the usefulness of the auditor’s report and the relevance of the financial statement audit as a whole. Actually, auditors were criticised on the fact that, except the valued binary pass/fail opinion, their reports didn’t provide any information on the audit that had been performed and on the reasons why they had expressed such an opinion. Moreover, the use of boilerplate wording in their reports was also subject to criticism.
In order to recapture investors confidence in the audit of financial statements, the IAASB, and other regulators worldwide, revised their standards. What really caught the attention of investors is that, from now on, auditors have to disclose the “Key Audit Matters [KAMs]” (IAASB), “Critical Audit Matters [CAMs]” (PCAOB) or similar concepts developed by the European Union, the FRC or the NBA. What is expected from this notion of KAM is to reduce the “communication gap” that exists between the auditor and the users of the report by improving its transparency, insight and readability.
Our thesis focuses on the concept of KAM, concept which was introduced by the ISA 701 of the IAASB. Actually, this ISA became effective, basically, for the 2016 audits of quoted companies. The aim of this paper is to evaluate how the concept of KAM can enhance the audit quality as perceived by shareholders and investors.
In order to achieve this objective, we carried out a qualitative analysis. This analysis relies on a literature review and a practical test. Concerning our literature review, we stated our hypotheses based on the observations drawn in the UK where a notion comparable to the KAM of the IAASB is in place since 2013. Furthermore, to challenge these hypotheses we conducted seven interviews with financial experts.
Finally, by examining, on the one hand, changes in audit fees and audit delay due to the implementation of the new audit reports and, on the other hand, the quality of auditors in drafting a specific and intelligible description for each KAM, our study demonstrates that the introduction of KAMs in the new audit report will effectively lead to an improvement of the audit quality as perceived by shareholders and investors in Belgium.



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  • Goffin, Alexandre ULiège Université de Liège > Master ingé. gest., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Niessen, Wilfried ULiège Université de Liège - ULg > HEC Liège : UER > Comptabilité et finance d'entreprise
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Trevisan, Vincent
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  • Total number of downloads 5

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