This paper offers an insight into the types of ‘audit expectations gap’ that exist within a cultural context. Specifically, it investigates if the business and social environment affect the perceptions of audit performance of users and auditors. Using a combination of mail questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, the study reveals the existence of a ‘performance gap’ with respect to the roles specified in the statutory pronouncements and those that can reasonably be expected of auditors in Saudi Arabia. The results further indicate the ‘performance gap’ arises from four factors in the environment within which auditing is practiced: licensing policy, recruitment process, the political and legal structure, and dominant societal values. Interview results reveal the influence of institutional and cultural settings on the audit expectations gap and indicate that the inclusion of Islamic principles in auditing standards and the code of ethics would help reduce the expectations gap that exists in Saudi Arabia.
|Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation
|Published - 2007