Mandatory audit firm rotation: a student perspective.
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The purpose of the research project was to obtain an understanding of student’s perception of Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation (MAFR). The perception is determined based on the impact students consider MAFR to have on auditor independence, audit quality and other aspects of the auditing profession and practice are considered. A theoretical framework for the auditing profession and practice as well as MAFR is outlined, considering the role conflict theory, the audit expectation gap, economic theories of regulation and the living law of auditing. Literature currently available on audit firm rotation shows a mixture of both a positive and negative impact resulting from the implementation of MAFR on independence, quality and other aspects. The study follows a post-positivist research paradigm which informs the quantitative approach in addressing the objectives of the project. The population for the study is defined as auditing students at the universities of Zululand and KwaZulu-Natal (determined to be 1 619). Those in attendance at a pre-determined auditing lecture time slot or session were handed out the questionnaire for completion. A total of 413 questionnaires were collected, coded and captured for analysis. The data was then analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics to determine the perception of students on MAFR. Other comments on MAFR, solicited from participants were summarised as part of the data analysis. The study concludes that the majority of students believe that the implementation of MAFR would primarily yield positive outcomes on independence, quality and other aspects and are thus can be considered to be in favour of the implementation of MAFR. Key words Mandatory Audit Firm Rotation, MAFR, independence, audit quality, auditor rotation.