Audit Expectation Gap
i) Liggio (1974a) defines it as the difference between the levels of expected performance as envisioned by the independent accountant and by the user of financial statements. The Cohen Commission (1978) on auditors’ responsibility extended this definition by considering whether a gap may exist between what the public expects or needs and what auditors can and should reasonably expect to accomplish.
ii) According to Guy and Sullivan (1988), there is a difference between what the public and financial statement users believe accountants and auditors are responsible for and what the accountants and auditors themselves believe they are responsible for.
iii) Godsell (1992) described the expectation gap as “which is said to exist, when auditors and the public hold different beliefs about the auditors’ duties and responsibilities and the messages conveyed by audit reports.”
iv) Jennings et al. (1993), in their study on the use of audit decision aids to improve auditor adherence to a ‘standard’, are of the opinion that the audit expectations gap is the difference between what the public expects from the auditing profession and what the profession actually provides. Monroe and Woodliff (1993) defined audit expectation gap as “the difference in beliefs between auditors and public about the duties and responsibilities assumed by auditors and the messages conveyed by audit reports.”
v) According to AICPA (1993), the ‘audit expectation gap’ refers to the difference between what the public and financial statement users believe the responsibilities of auditors to be; and what auditors believe their responsibilities are.
vi) Epstein and Geiger (1994) defined audit expectation gap as: “differences in perceptions especially regarding assurances provided between users, preparers and auditors”.
vii) The ASCPA and ICAA (1994) observe that the term ‘expectation gap’ should be used to describe “…the difference