Auditors' Ability to Resist Client Pressure and Culture: Perceptions in China and the United Kingdom



Lin KZ & Fraser I (2008) Auditors' Ability to Resist Client Pressure and Culture: Perceptions in China and the United Kingdom. Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, 19 (2), pp. 161-183.

Ongoing corporate scandal and audit failure raise serious concerns about the ability of auditors to resist client pressure. Based on a sample of 93 auditors from China and the United Kingdom (U.K.), we analyze the effect of specificity of accounting standard, level of auditor tenure, provision of management advisory services (MAS) and degree of audit market competition on perceptions of auditors' ability to withstand client pressure in audit conflict situations. We draw on cultural differences to explain differences in auditors' perceptions in the respective countries. Our findings are consistent with national cultural characteristics identified in the research literature. We find that U.K. auditors perceive specificity of accounting standards, auditor tenure, MAS and competition as less likely to affect decisions as to whether or not to accept clients' preferred accounting treatments than do their Chinese counterparts. Additionally while Chinese auditors perceive MAS and competition to be significant factors, they perceive accounting standard specificity and auditor tenure to be insignificant. For U.K. auditors, these results are reversed. The results may be relevant to international audit firms operating cross-culturally and seeking to apply common audit procedures or codes of professional conduct in different national settings.

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Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting: Volume 19, Issue 2

Publication date30/06/2008
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Limited
Place of publicationOxford, UK

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Professor Ian Fraser
Professor Ian Fraser

Emeritus Professor, Accounting & Finance