Når fravalg af revision skaber øget risiko for skatteunddragelse

Studenteropgave: Kandidatspeciale og HD afgangsprojekt

  • Sophie Amalie Ussing
  • Maria Overgaard
  • Jeanette Lindequist Madsen
4. semester, Revision (cand.merc.aud.), Kandidat (Kandidatuddannelse)
The mandatory audit requirements for Danish businesses are regulated in the Financial Statements Act in § 135. From this section, it is clear that businesses in the Danish accounting class B, which are under a certain size, are able to deselect auditing of their annual financial statement. This does not mean that they can avoid making an annual financial statement, but they can simply choose to make that statement themselves instead of having an accountant do it. The consequence of this is, that the annual financial statement does no longer for certain, carry the signature of an accountant and thus it does no longer hold the same guarantee that it is true and fair, which is what the signature of an accountant signals.
In order to meet this problem the accountants offer other performances than auditing, like e.g. reviews and accounting services. These performances can add a degree of certainty to the annual financial statement, but not to the degree that an actual audit does. This, as there is a clear difference in the tasks of the accountant by the different performances.

In Denmark in 2006, an ease of the mandatory audit requirements was passed, in order to remove some of the administrative burdens of the small businesses. Since then, two more eases have been made, in the years 2010 and 2013 respectively, in order to give more businesses in the Danish accounting class B, the opportunity to deselect audit. However, the eases of the mandatory audit requirements have caused a debate and a sense of fear of the consequences the eases will cause, including amongst others the risk of an increase in economic crime.
Based on these eases of the mandatory audit requirements and the debate regarding the consequences hereof, this paper will examine whether the eases of the mandatory audit requirements will increase the risk of economic crime, focusing especially on tax evasion.
This is done through a description of the legislation concerning deselection of mandatory audit, amongst others with a comparison of four different types of audits, that are auditing, extended review, review and accounting services.
In order to uncover the challenges of the eases from different angles, an analysis of a number of interviews conducted with professionals in the area will be made. This, in order to find out how their work has been affected by the eases of mandatory audit requirements and to enlighten their views on an eventual future further ease of the requirements. In connection with surveys form the Danish Business Authority these interviews will form the basis of an analysis, with the aim of finding out whether there is an increased risk of tax evasion in Denmark, because of the eases of the mandatory audit requirements. At the same time, the actual risk of an increased number of tax evasion cases will be discussed, with suggestions to how, a future ease of the requirements can be implemented successfully.

Our analysis shows, that there is a general tendency to think that the ease of the mandatory audit requirements saves the businesses costs in the form of accountants fees and that this makes running a business in Denmark easier. The respondents to our interviews express no significant enthusiasm regarding the eases of the audit requirements. This is due to the lesser control and thereby lesser certainty in the annual financial statements, which may cause an increased risk of businesses’ tax evasion. This causes, for the respondents to wish for no further eases of the mandatory audit requirements, as this will only increase the risk of tax evasion further, if businesses with a stronger economy are given the option, to deselect auditing.
Throughout the paper, both advantages and disadvantages of the ease of the audit requirements are uncovered and the advantages are not considered, to up weigh the disadvantages, of another ease of the requirements. This is due to the fact, that the advantages solely benefits the businesses, whereas the disadvantages concern businesses as well as the society. By another ease of the requirements, the businesses further lack the approved certainty of their annual financial statements, which may cause for greater working cash balance claims from suppliers and creditors. By another ease of the requirements, society experiences greater risk of tax evasion and a lack of resources to discover eventual errors in the audited financial statements. These errors may also be of tax consideration.
Udgivelsesdato17 maj 2016
Antal sider143
ID: 233577906