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Auditors' time pressure: does ethical culture support audit quality?


  • Jan Svanberg
  • Peter Öhman


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to address the impact of ethical culture on audit quality under conditions of time budget pressure. The study also tests the relationship between ethical culture and time budget pressure. Design/methodology/approach - The study is based on a field survey of financial auditors employed by audit firms operating in Sweden. Findings - The study finds relationships between three ethical culture factors and reduced audit quality acts. The ethical environment and the use of penalties to enforce ethical norms are negatively related to reduced audit quality acts, whereas the demand for obedience to authorities is positively related to reduced audit quality acts. Underreporting of time is not related to ethical culture, but is positively related to time budget pressure. Finally, the study finds a relationship between two ethical culture factors and time budget pressure, indicating a possible causal relationship, but ethical culture does not mediate an indirect effect of time budget pressure on reduced audit quality acts. Originality/value - This is the first study to report the effect of ethical culture on dysfunctional auditor behavior using actual self-reported frequencies of reduced audit quality acts and underreporting of time as data.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Svanberg & Peter Öhman, 2013. "Auditors' time pressure: does ethical culture support audit quality?," Managerial Auditing Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 28(7), pages 572-591, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:majpps:v:28:y:2013:i:7:p:572-591

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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:spacre:v:19:y:2016:i:1:p:10-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:spr:jmgtco:v:29:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00187-018-00272-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Jan Svanberg & Peter Öhman, 2016. "The effects of time budget pressure, organisational-professional conflict, and organisational commitment on dysfunctional auditor behaviour," International Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Performance Evaluation, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 12(2), pages 131-150.
    4. Jan Svanberg & Peter Öhman, 2016. "Does Ethical Culture in Audit Firms Support Auditor Objectivity?," Accounting in Europe, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 65-79, April.


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