Do the Big 4 and the Second-Tier Firms Provide Audits of Similar Independence?

  •  Nedal Sawan    
  •  Khaled Hamuda    


In this paper, we examine the relation between the Big 4 and Second-tier auditors with auditor independence. Prior research suggests that the Big 4 audit firms are of higher independence than are non-Big 4 firms. The study also indicates a view that, both the public company respondents and audit firm respondents perceived the Big Four audit firms as having a higher auditor independence than other audit firms, which is consistent with findings of (Abu Bakar et al., 2005; DeAngelo, 1981b)Data were collected by two methods, a questionnaire survey (quantitative) and a number of semi-structured interviews (qualitative) to give both triangulation and amplification. The questionnaire was analysed using both conventional comparative statistics and multivariate methods. The sample of respondents comprised three groupings: accounts managers, financial managers and internal auditors working in Libyan public companies; managing partners, partners, audit supervisors and auditors working in audit firms in Libya; and controllers working for the Libyan Association of Auditors and Accountants (LAAA).The results of the study indicate two groups agreed that the big audit firms have enough financial resources and a large number of clients, which means they can resist client management pressure, and protect their reputation.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.