The IUP Journal of Accounting Research and Audit Practices:
Auditor's Moral Courage and Ethical Culture on Audit Quality: A Study

Article Details
Pub. Date : April, 2023
Product Name : The IUP Journal of Accounting Research and Audit Practices
Product Type : Article
Product Code : IJARAP010423
Author Name : Senda Wali and Rihab Bouhlel
Availability : YES
Subject/Domain : Finance
Download Format : PDF Format
No. of Pages : 17



The paper examines the impact of auditor's moral courage and Ethical Culture (EC) on audit quality using dysfunctional behaviors as a measure of audit quality. The study is based on a field survey of financial auditors employed by audit firms operating in Tunisia. The results show that Reduced Audit-Quality Practices (RAQP) occur less frequently when auditor's moral courage is strong, and there is no relationship between RAQP and EC. It also indicates that underreporting time has no connection with moral courage and EC. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study exploring auditor's moral courage in audit firms, and examining EC in Tunisian audit firms.


Over the last twenty years, audit has become a driving tool widely used in private and public organizations. Its objective is to enable the auditor to express an opinion whether the financial statements are prepared, in all material respects, in accordance with an applicable financial reporting framework (Internal Federation of Accountants, IFAC). However, financial wrongdoing, such as the Enron scandal which led to the dissolution of one of the largest audit and accounting firms in the world "Andersen", have raised the issue of "audit quality", which has been the focus of much research. Beyond audit methods and techniques, the issue of auditor's behavior has emerged. Indeed, it is generally accepted that auditors must act according to the contradictory interests of various groups of users (Fortin and Martel, 1997). Their responsibility is summed up in three main points: first of all, they must ensure that investors have correct, complete and sufficient information to assess the risks and prospects of gain; secondly, they must check the relevance of the information so that they can formulate his opinion; and eventually, it is compulsory to take the public interest into account. The need to take into consideration the public and the client's interests places before the auditor important ethical challenges, to which the ethical codes do not find solutions. So, acting in concert with these three contradictory interests requires that the auditor acts ethically with professional moral courage (considered by Serkerka et al., 2009 as a managerial competency) and managerial moral courage (considered