Comprehensive Review on Audit Expectation Gap: A Meta-Synthesis Approach

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Accounting, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran


The present study systematically reviews previous studies and proposes an integrated framework for the audit expectation gap. Using the meta-synthesis approach among 118 studies in different scientific databases, the scholar applied the seven step-by-step methods of Sandelowski et al. (2007) to analyze the results and findings of the previous scholars. Moreover, two Critical Appraisals Skills Program (CASP) and Kappa Index are used for quality control, Shanon Entropy is employed for code weighting, and the factors with decisive roles in the opening up gap were identified. This study for the meta-synthesis of expectations gap research proposes three separate classifications from the studies on this topic to provide a more detailed acquaintance with the literature on the audit expectation gap, what, why, and how of AEG. It then provides a comprehensive conceptual framework for the expectations gap. This framework includes five concepts (perceptual, knowledge, functional, standardization, and communication gaps) and 44 detailed indices in the audit expectation gap. According to the results, misunderstanding and too much public expectation, breaching independence in auditing, a complication of the auditor's role, and the self-regulatory process of the audit profession have gained maximum significance coefficients. This systematic literature review will be of interest to auditors, all stakeholders, professionals, and regulatory agencies, among other parties. Further, this AEG meta-synthesis may help understand misperceptions and determine how they differ across diverse stakeholders. Finally, a fresh yet more straightforward definition is generated as a result of the comprehensive and systematic review of the literature, adding novelty to the extant literature.


Main Subjects

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