Determinants of audit fees: The perception of external auditors
This paper examines the perception of external auditors on the dominant factors that influence audit fees determination. By means of a survey, the study explored from the perspective of external auditors the level of importance audit firms attach to some identified factors in the determination of audit fees. A self-administered questionnaire was used to gather data from professional auditors working with practicing auditing firms certified and approved by the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ghana (ICAG). Using a total of 339 valid responses, the study explored the dimensionality of the factors that influence audit fees by employing the Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) procedure. Based on the factor structure identified from the EFA, we subsequently evaluated the level of importance auditors perceive these factors to be in the determination of audit fees. The EFA results suggest that audit fees determinants can be grouped into five distinct factors (Audit firm reputation, experience & expertise; Nature and scope of the audit; Market-wide factor; Client size; Client risk). The factor ‘Client risk’ was rated to be the most important determinant of audit fees distantly followed by the ‘Nature and scope of the audit’ factor. The ‘Market-wide factor’ was rated to be the least important factor in the determination of audit fees. The findings of this study provide some useful insights from the perspective of external auditors on the factors that influence audit fees from a developing country context.
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