Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Accounting, Finance and Economics
The quality of the opinion provided by audit firms is an important determinant of their long-term survival, but audit quality is difficult to gauge, which makes it particularly sensitive to the behaviour of the individuals who carry on audit work. This paper seeks to identify the incidence of dysfunctional audit behaviours and audit quality reduction behaviours, actions taken by an auditor during engagement that reduce evidence-gathering effectiveness. The paper is based on a survey of 244 auditors working in small/medium and big audit firms in Malaysia. The paper identifies key variables leading to dysfunctional audit behaviour. The paper is subject to the normal limitations associated with survey research. The paper provides basic empirical evidence of a potentially serious risk of dysfunctional behaviours that may impair audit quality. The paper provides empirical evidence to address the concerns of the Malaysian regulatory authorities regarding audit quality.