The recruitment messaging of public accounting firms has shifted to prioritize the commercial values of the employment experience over the traditionally touted professional values of the auditing field.

CPAs who leave their positions as auditors to become accountants in private industry often find themselves on the other side of the audit engagement as auditees. Here, they have the power to shape the engagement in ways that jeopardize audit independence.

Aspiring CPAs are drawn to the transformative power of the Big Four experience to endow them with a coveted professional identity. Within three years, though, half of all entry-level auditors leave public accounting.

accounting service
It's assumed that public companies shopping around for a favourable audit opinion have something to hide. Instead, they may be acting as proper corporate stewards
man with magnifying glass
Some auditing firms are in denial about the corrosive effect of commercial pressures on their work
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On First Nations reserves, government accountability requirements sow internal divisions
The MD&A section of financial reports can contain linguistic clues to fraud. How do they get in there?
Want to really attack the climate crisis? Make firms account for the environmental costs of their operations
Corporate fraud is usually blamed on deeply flawed people acting alone. Yet fraud is a far more social affair than managers or auditors may realize
Firms involved in anti-dumping trade cases may be massaging the books

Smith School of Business

Goodes Hall, Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario
Canada K7L 3N6

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