2021B03 - Auditors’ Going Concern Decisions: Insights from Practice (Prof. dr. M.A. Geiger)
Decisions regarding going concern opinions (GCO) are among auditors’ most important judgments, as GCOs impact the client company, financial statement users, financial markets, and auditors themselves. However, evaluating management’s assertion that an entity will continue as a going concern is also one of the most challenging tasks that auditors perform (IAASB 2015; Bosman, van der Kuip, and Janssen 2021). Against this background, both the IAASB (2020) and NBA (2021b) have recently launched projects to explore how the auditor’s role and responsibilities can be enhanced in the challenging and complex area of GCO reporting.
As noted in Geiger et al. (2021a), prior research is relatively conclusive on various externally observable (input) factors determining auditors’ GCO decisions (output) and the effects of these (consequences) on various parties in the audit assurance supply chain. At the same time, this prior research has been primarily archival in nature and has thus mostly included publicly available data in the external assessment of the prevalence of GCOs, even though a GCO is the outcome of a complex decision-making process. As such, we have relatively limited knowledge about key elements of the actual audit and decision process surrounding GCOs. We aim to fill this gap in the literature by conducting in-depth interviews with experienced auditors, thereby aiming to (i) unpack auditors’ GCO decision-making process, (ii) identify key factors that lead auditors to issue, or forego, a GCO, and (iii) establish future research opportunities (some of which we intend to take up in future FAR funding rounds).
Podcast FARview #29 with Anna Gold, Dominic Detzen and Marshall Geiger
FAR Practice Note - Auditors’ Going Concern Decisions: Insights from Practice
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