Main Principles and Practices of Auditing Independence in China: A Multifaceted Discussion

  •  Lan Wan Hua    
  •  Georgios Georgakopoulos    
  •  Ioannis Sotiropoulos    
  •  Ekaterini Galanou    


This paper attempts through a review of the associated literature to describe and critically evaluate the audit market in China by exploring the main factors that affect auditor independence. The study identifies that non-audit service and low-balling/price-cutting are not parameters affecting auditor independence. Regulation can effectively help to maintain audit independence, but the enforcement of those regulations is very poor. Audit firm reputation is established and maintained by fulfilling the obligations of guanxi (personal relationship), rather than by reporting modified opinions fairly and trustfully. Due to government protection, competition in the Chinese audit market is limited and the possibility that Chinese audit firms lower their fees to retain clients is much diminished. Thus, competition and audit firm size appear to be positive aspects for audit independence. However, other national cultural and political-regulatory factors seem to have a moderating effect.

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