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1.1 Background Of The Study
The turbulent effects of the global financial crisis have highlighted the critical importance of credible high quality financial reporting. Achieving quality financial reporting depends on the role that the external audit plays in supporting the quality of financial reporting of manufacturing companies. It is an important part of the regulatory and supervisory infrastructure and thus an activity of significant public interest. Process auditing is one of the most important issues in audit practice today.
The financial statement audit is a monitoring mechanism that helps reduce information asymmetry and protect the interests of the various stakeholders by providing reasonable assurance that the management’s financial statements are free from material misstatements. The societal role of auditors should be a key contribution to financial performance, in terms of reducing the risks of significant misstatements and by ensuring that the financial statements are elaborated according to preset rules and regulations. Lower risks on misstatements increase confidence in capital markets, which in turn lowers the cost of capital for firms (Heil, 2012).
External financial statement users, including current and potential investors, creditors and others need reliable financial information on which to base their resource allocation decisions. When the financiers of organizations have confidence and trust in the audited financial report of an organization, they are bound to pour in more funds into the organization, which in turn results in increased financial performance. Regulators and standard setters can increase the effectiveness of quoted companies by promulgating rules and regulations that help ensure that audits improve financial information quality. Internal financial statement users such as management, audit committees and board of directors have an interest in quality audits, for example; to help reduce the cost of capital (Miettinen, 2011).
External audits performed in accordance with high quality auditing standards can promote the implementation of accounting standards by reporting entities and help ensure that their financial statements are reliable, transparent and useful. Sound audits can help reinforce strong corporate governance, risk management and internal control at firms, thus contributing to financial performance (Internal Audits Board, 2011).
The statutory audit can reinforce confidence because auditors are expected to provide an external, objective opinion on the preparation and presentation of financial statements. Auditors need to be independent in the opinions they express, while the work they have to do to form their opinions is highly dependent on and rooted in the real world and may become challenging in some business environments such as the cement industry. It is against this background that this research work is carried out. The purpose of this study therefore is to determine the impact of process auditing on production and profitability of manufacturing companies in Nigeria.