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FAR Working Paper 2024/04 - 25: Audit Externalities and Regulation

In his paper on regulation, Jere Francis explains why audits are regulated. Audits are regulated because the major parties (auditors and their clients) settle for lower levels of assurance. Society requires higher levels of assurance since they (e.g., future shareholders, banks, employees, customers)  benefit from higher levels of assurance.

Legislation and regulation purportedly motivate auditors to set higher levels of assurance (and thus audit quality). However, since auditors are required to produce on average a higher level of quality audit than the market requires, and arguably incur higher costs than the client is willing to pay, the question is who foots the bill for the higher cost: the auditor, the client, future shareholders, banks, society as a whole? 

Read Jere’s insightful paper,. It is important to understand why under the current system there will always be tension between what the firms believe is an appropriate level of assurance versus what auditors are expected to deliver.


Prof. dr. Jere R. Francis

Professor Jere Francis is ranked among the top ten academics to publish in leading scientific journals in the field of accountancy research. He won two awards from the American Accounting Association (AAA) for his substantial contribution to auditing research. He was also named Outstanding Audit Educator in 2013 by the AAA. Professor Francis served on the editorial boards of several leading scientific journals, including Abacus, Accounting Organizations & Society, Accounting & Finance, Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Accounting & Economics, Review of Accounting Studies, and The Accounting Review. In addition to being of scientific import, his research has been of practical significance to accountants and regulatory authorities and he has presented his research to leading international accountancy firms, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the World Bank and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board in the United States. As FAR Research Chair, Professor Francis conducts scientific research on the quality of audits. He will also boost auditing education in the Netherlands with the help of several PhD students as part of this chair position.

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