عنوان مقاله [English]
The desire to gain long-term benefits in the field of professional credit and earnings has led to considering audit quality as a factor of increasing professional competitiveness in audit services' market from the viewpoint of auditors, and from this perspective, this has been considered in conducted studies. Palmrose (1988) defined the quality of the audit as follows: ensuring the financial statements is audit quality and the financial statements are free from any significant misstatement". This definition emphasizes the result of the audit, because the ability to rely on financial statements before the audit cannot be specified; therefore, the actual quality of the audit cannot be observed and cannot be evaluated until the audit has reached its result (Hasas Yeganeh and Azinfar, 2010). Titman and Trueman (1986) also believe that since actual audit quality cannot be observed before auditing or during auditing, there is a need for variables to evaluate the actual quality of the audit. Although many factors affect the quality of audit services, few studies have been conducted to create a conceptual framework or model for describing the structure of quality of audit services. In recent decades, some of the studies conducted in the field of audit quality have attempted to provide an analytical framework based on audit regulations in European countries, as well as the results of previous studies, including Carcello et al. (1992), Knechel et al. (2013). Of course, the study results of Francis (2011) and Gonthier Besacier et al. (2016), which provide the analytical framework for a more complete audit quality according to the results of previous studies and European audit regulations (especially French), and are more similar to Sarbanes Oxley regulatory texts, have been great efforts in this field. This study by formulating factors affecting the quality of audit according to the results of studies conducted and solutions presented in Iranian auditing standards regarding the quality improvement of audit services and presenting them in the form of a conceptual model attempts to consider single and distributed factors affecting the quality of audit based on previous studies in the form of the main and operational factors.
The hypotheses of this research are as follows:
H1: Audit operations affect audit quality.
H2: Audit group activity affects audit quality.
H3: Auditing rules affect audit quality.
The information needed to test the research hypotheses have been obtained through a researcher-made questionnaire. The first statistical population of this study consists of CPA’s working in an independent audit profession as managers, senior managers, supervisors and senior supervisors (in the audit firm), partners, technical managers, audit supervisors and senior supervisors (in private audit firms), and the second statistical population of this study consists of financial managers of all investment companies that operate under the supervision of Securities and Exchange Organization. The sampling method in this study is a categorized probability sampling method for the first statistical population of this study. The subjects are selected from all classes conveniently. For this reason, we used Cochran formula to estimate the sample size in each class of the statistical population. Among the numbers obtained as the sample size of each class, the largest value was chosen as the final sample size. The final sample size obtained from this study was n = 205 for the first statistical population and n = 74 for the second statistical population of all investment companies operating under the supervision of Securities and Exchange Organization and questionnaires were distributed to respondents through in person referring and / or sent by email. After distributing the questionnaires, in total, 174 questionnaires were collected. 6 questionnaires were unusable due to failure to answer all questions, and a total of 168 questionnaires were used in statistical analysis. Regarding the theoretical concepts presented on the quality of the audit, this concept cannot be observed; therefore, the dependent variable is hidden and endogenous, and the independent variables are also hidden, but are exogenous. Consequently, the evaluation of the conceptual model of the research to study the research hypotheses based on the structural equations modeling with partial least squares approach was conducted to study the causal relationships between the invisible and hidden variables with interwoven relationships.
Discussion and Conclusion
The factors affecting the audit quality in three fields of audit operations, audit regulations and audit group are presented in the form of a conceptual model based on the analytical framework based on previous conducted studies. Regarding theoretical concepts of audit quality, this concept cannot be observed. As a result, the evaluation of the conceptual model of the research to test the research hypotheses based on the structural equations modeling with partial least squares approach was used to study the causal relationships between the visible and hidden variables with interwoven relationships including four reflective measurement models and a structural model. After testing validity and reliability of reflective measurement models, the general test of these models and testing the quality of the structural model for the research hypotheses, it was found that the null hypothesis was rejected in the test of all three hypotheses that is the claim contradiction, indicating that all the hypotheses of the research were confirmed and the above factors affect the quality of audit services. The results also indicate the general utility of the general structural model designed to predict the factors affecting the quality of the audit services. According to the conceptual model, 20 qualitative features were presented to review them. The study of the effects of all exogenous independent variables (audit operations, audit group and audit regulations) on the endogenous dependent variable of the model (audit quality) showed that the independent variable of audit operations with a direct effect factor of 0.431, independent variable of the audit group with a direct effect factor of 0.299 and independent variable of audit regulations with a direct effect factor of 0.253 in total could explain 79.6 percent of the total variation in audit quality.