SYNOPSIS

This article outlines proposed reforms to auditor reporting currently being considered by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), and other key national and transnational standard-setters and regulatory bodies. It adds to recent academic contributions on reforming the auditor's report by analyzing the 165 stakeholder responses to the IAASB's 2012 Invitation to Comment: Improving the Auditor's Report to determine levels of support for the IAASB's proposed reforms, and the differences, if any, between the views of various respondents based on stakeholder groups (e.g., audit and assurance firms, users, preparers, regulators, etc.) and regional classifications. Guided by insights from communication theory, our results show the levels of stakeholder support for the IAASB's proposed reforms addressing auditors' expectations, information, and communication gaps are mixed. The strongest overall support was for enhanced auditor reporting on other information attached to, or intended to be read with, the financial statements, and the least supported initiative was including additional information in the auditor's report about the auditor's judgments and processes. While overall there is generally consensus across both stakeholder groups and regions concerning the various questions investigated, we highlight where statistically significant differences between groups do exist. Notably, North American respondents were less likely to support a number of the IAASB's proposed reforms than their counterparts from other regions.

Data Availability: The data used in this study are referred to on the IAASB's website.

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