The reporting practices of key audit matters in the big five audit firms in Norway
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- Master of Science 
As of December 15th 2016, the audit reporting requirements in Norway have changed in a number of aspects. The most substantial change is the reporting of Key Audit Matters (KAM). ISA 701, Communicating Key Audit Matters in the Independent Auditor's Report, is mandatory for listed companies in Norway as of December 15th 2016 (IAASB, 2015B). The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the differences in the reporting practices of key audit matters between the big five audit firms in Norway (BDO, Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC). Furthermore, the thesis examines, and attempts to explain, why such differences exist. The findings of this study reveal that the number of reported key audit matters differ between the big five audit firms in Norway. On average, EY reports the fewest KAMs (1.59 KAMs), while KPMG report the most (2.75 KAMs). The type of KAMs reported also seem to differ between the audit firms. However, certain KAMs recur, such as 'impairment of assets', 'goodwill impairment' and 'revenue recognition'. The thesis identifies differences between the audit firms in the descriptions of key audit matters. While certain audit firms describe KAMs in detail, others describe KAMs briefly and less detailed. The descriptions of 'how the matter was addressed in the audit' are also varying in terms of granularity between the audit firms. All of the big five audit firms explain that they have placed more focus on describing 'how the matter was addressed in the audit' rather than describing the KAMs. Slight differences in the use of advanced language in the KAM section is detected between the five audit firms. The presentation format of the KAM section appears relatively similar between the audit firms. However, EY differs in this area by describing the KAM section with plain text. The overall conclusion of this thesis is that there are differences in the reporting practices of KAM between the big five audit firms in Norway.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Business, Business law, tax and accounting - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2017