SYNOPSIS

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB), and the U.K. Financial Reporting Council (FRC) have proposed or approved standards that significantly change the independent auditor's report. These initiatives require the auditor to make additional disclosures intended to close the information gap; that is, the gap between the information users desire and the information available through the audited financial statements, other corporate disclosures, and the auditor's report. They are also intended to improve the relevancy of the auditor's report. We augment prior academic research by providing standard setters with an updated synthesis of relevant research. More importantly, we provide an assessment of whether the changes are likely to close the information gap, which is important to financial market participants and other stakeholders in the audit reporting process. Also, we identify areas where there seems to be a lack of sufficient research. These results are of interest to all stakeholders in the audit reporting process, as the changes to the auditor's report are fundamental. Additionally, our summaries of research on the auditor's report highlight where there is limited research or inconsistent results, which will help academics identify important opportunities for future research.

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