My PhD experience prior to enrolling at Macquarie was somewhat problematic since my supervisors were located in Melbourne and I was working in Sydney. Since enrolling at Macquarie my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. My supervisors were absolutely first class, their feedback at every stage of the process was incredibly detailed and insightful. Whenever I came up against a seemingly intractable problem they “rolled up their sleeves” and helped me find a solution. They were knowledgeable, patient and encouraging and were instrumental in enabling me to complete the task. I also received significant financial support from the Faculty in the form of a grant to enable me to purchase the necessary adaptive conjoint analysis software to enable me to undertake data collection and analysis.
Professor Graeme Harrison and Associate Professor Renee Radich
Corporate collapses and audit failures have threatened the credibility of the audit function, with audit quality once again being a major issue. Motivated by the significance of auditing and perceptions of audit quality in enhancing the reliability and credibility of financial statements, the thesis investigates the relative importance of audit-team and audit-firm attributes in perceptions of audit quality by users of audit services. Data was gathered from users of audit services and analysed using adaptive conjoint analysis in order to measure the relative importance of audit-team and audit-firm attributes in perceptions of audit quality. The results show that, in general, users of audit services perceive audit-team attributes as being relatively more important than audit-firm attributes in perceptions of audit quality. The findings of the research have implications for regulators and the accounting profession concerned with improving confidences in corporate governance and the effectiveness and integrity of the audit process, and for audit firms in monitoring and promoting the quality of their audit services.