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The implementation of mandatory audit firm rotation in KwaZulu-Natal.

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The study aimed to examine the perceptions of audit experts concerning the influence of mandatory audit firm rotation (MAFR) on audit independence (AI), audit quality (AQ) and audit reform in the province of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Stakeholders concerns were considered regarding reporting irregularities that are important to those who understand the dynamics of the audit process and the relevance of audit reforms. In addition, it examined the logical connection between AI, AQ and MAFR by gathering 102 opinions of audit experts from Tier 2 audit firms and two public institutions about the readiness of the policy in the jurisdiction of Independent Regulatory Board of Auditors (IRBA). The study used descriptive and inferential statistics to understand the impact of the policy on reforms. The views of role players with in-depth knowledge and experience in the auditing industry were vital ingredients of the study. Due to the distinctiveness of the study, the results were two-fold. Firstly, the descriptive statistics provided a general overview of the respondents’ opinions. The majority of respondents agreed that MAFR implementation would strengthen AI and AQ, thereby validating the initial position of the IRBA. In addition, most participants agreed that the ramification of the imposition of additional cost could not be ignored. However, there were conflicting results on the effect of audit reforms on market concentration. The majority of respondents could neither agree nor disagree that there would be a decrease in market concentration. While most respondents agreed that the rule would promote government policy on transformation and create more opportunities for tier 2 audit firms to penetrate other markets, provided they had the capacity and competency to audit them. Moreover, the utilization of SPSS on ordinal logistic regression also found that the probability of a decrease in the progress of audit reforms are significantly higher when MAFR is in place, and a non-significant positive predictor of MAFR would increase AI, AQ and audit reforms. Conclusively, the study, recommends future studies should broadly include registered auditors and academics from institutions and firms in different South African provinces to obtain diverse views about pre-and post-implementation of the rule in 2023 to compare the effects of the policy on AQ and AI.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.