Audit Expectation Gap: The Trend to Close the Gap in the 21st Century

Posted: 10 Nov 2011 Last revised: 4 Dec 2011

Date Written: November 10, 2011


There are several attempts to account for why is the audit expectation gap among researchers in the auditing profession. Humphrey et al. (1993) and Porter and Gowthorpe (2004), for example, have argued that the gap exists due to a deficiency in auditor’s performance and auditing standards. Pierce and Kilcommins (1996), Boyd et al., (2001) and; McEnroe and Martens (2001), argue that the gap exists due to misinterpretations and misunderstanding of the meaning of auditing by the users. These studies suggest that the users do not understand the audit functions and the role of auditors. Consequently, they have unrealistic expectations of auditors. Therefore, it is against this backdrop that this research work has been undertaken with the aim of documenting whether or not the audit expectation gap exists in the Nigerian society with the perception of diverse views of the various stakeholders in the area of the audit expectation gap. The study used questionnaire and covered the principal aspect of the audit practices and the nature and provisions of the auditing process, in such a manner similar to the application of such studies conducted in different parts of the world. The statement in each section comprise a series of assertions regarding the existing and possible audit roles, regulations and the audit environment, against which the respondents were asked to indicate their agreement or disagreement on a five point likert scale. The distribution of the questionnaire covered respondents that include bankers, financial directors, credit managers, investment analysts, fund managers, students of accountancy, shareholders and government employees. Mann-Whitney U test was used in the analysis. It was found that the audit expectation gap do exists among the various stakeholders used in the analysis and the study recommends adequate and proper enlightenment effort to reduce the gap.

Keywords: audit

Suggested Citation

Tanko, Professor Muhammad, Audit Expectation Gap: The Trend to Close the Gap in the 21st Century (November 10, 2011). Available at SSRN:

Professor Muhammad Tanko (Contact Author)

Kaduna State University ( email )

Tafawa Balewa Way
P. M. B. 2339
Kaduna State

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