Fair Value Accounting and Implications for the Auditing Profession: Historical Overview

Esraa Esam Alharasis, Maria Prokofieva, Rateb Mohammad Alqatamin, Colin Clark


This paper explores the link between the introduction of fair value measurements (FVM) and the development of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) in 2008-9. The paper aims to provide an historical analysis of the development of the Enron scandal with a focus on fair value accounting (FVA) and provides a narrative literature review of the subsequent economic downturn, its effect on the auditing profession and audit fees arrangements, implications for FVA, and response of global institutions and standard setters. It provides a theoretical explanation of the underlying antecedents using existing accounting theories. For each reviewed stream of research, the paper establishes the theoretical underpinning and discusses its application supported by the context. The content analysis using NVivo software was employed to analyse existing research and available published information. Based on the comprehensive literature review, the study arrives at two main findings. First, the paper concludes with the controversial use of FVM and establishes a direct connection between Enron’s collapse, the GFC, and improper FVM practices. Secondly, the study identifies the current pricing strategy for audit as an industry response to the abuse of external audit arrangements regarding FVA. Supported by the literature review findings, the paper contributes to the audit research by providing deep insights into the connection between FVA practices, the GFC and development of the audit profession. The paper addresses the lack of foundational research in FVA and establishes a solid background for further studies on FVA and audit profession development in general.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/afr.v9n3p31


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