Role of Audit Education in Minimizing Audit Expectation Gap (AEG) in Nigeria

John Uzoma Ihendinihu, Silvia Nwakaego Robert


Considerable evidence of a gap exists between the expectations of users of financial statements and theaccountancy profession as to the definitive scope and usefulness of an audit function. This gap is largelysuspected to be associated with ignorance and misconception of the public, and results in widespreadmisunderstanding and unreasonable expectations being imposed on the duties of auditors. This study was carriedout to determine whether the provision of auditing course as part of a third year business degree curriculumcould narrow down this gap. The study adopts a quasi-experimental pre-test post-test non-equivalent controlgroup design, using three (3) randomly selected intact groups of University students. A modified and validatedfive-point likert scale questionnaire was constructed and administered to each of the three groups. Resultsobtained using Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) and Post Hoc Pairwise Comparison reveals that exposure toa course on Auditing significantly enhanced the knowledge of students in the two experimental groups, andaccordingly reduced their expectations on the scope, reliability and decision usefulness of audit function. Thestudy however found no significant improvement in their perception of the key components based on industrywork experience of the students. The paper, therefore, concludes that audit education has significant effect onAEG in Nigeria and calls on the accountancy profession, educational institutions and regulators to initiateappropriate policy framework for increasing financial statement users’ knowledge and awareness of the natureand limitations of an audit through broad-based audit education and enlightenment programmes.

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