우리나라는 2011년도부터 상장기업을 대상으로 원칙중심의 회계기준인 국제회계기준(IFRS)이 의무적용 되고 있다. 따라서 연결재무제표가 회사의 주된 재무제표가 됨에 따라 연결범위에 대한 판단은 IFRS 이슈 중 매우 중요한 회계적인 의사결정중의 하나이다. 그러나 IFRS를 조기 적용하고 있는 기업들을 살펴보면 연결범위에 대한 판단이 경제적 실질에 맞게 이루어지고 있는지 의문시되고 있는 것이 현실이다. 따라서 본 연구에서는 원칙중심의 회계기준인 IFRS하에서 회계전문가인 감사인을 대상으로 연결범위에 대한 의사결정이 피감사회사인 고객의 요구와 감사인을 감독하는 감독당국의 감리가능성에 따라 어떠한 영향을 받는지를 파악하였다. Big 4 회계법인의 감사인을 대상으로 설문지를 이용한 실험연구를 통해 필요한 자료를 수집하였다. 자료분석 결과 우선, 고객의 요구는 감사인의 의사결정에 통계적으로 유의적인 영향을 미치는 것으로 나타났는데, 이는 강사인의 원칙중심의 회계기준의 모호성을 이용하여 고객에서 유리한 공격적인 의사결정을 하는 것으로 해석할 수 있다. 반면, 감독당국의 감리가능성은 감사인의 의사결정에 통계적으로 유의적인 영향을 미치지는 못하는 것으로 나타났는데, 이는 감사인이 원칙중심의 회계기준의 취지대로 경제적 실질에 부합하는 의사결정을 하면 방어가 가능하다고 판단하기 때문에 반드시 보수적인 의사결정을 하지는 않는 것으로 해석할 수 있다. 추가적으로 두 가지 변수가 감사인의 의사결정에 미치는 영향을 표준편차를 이용하여 감사인의 합의수준(consensus) 및 감사품질의 변화를 추론해 보았는데, 고객의 요구는 감사인의 합의수준을 감소시켜 감사품질을 낮추는 결과를 보였다. 이에 반하여 감독당국의 감리가능성은 감사인의 합의수준을 증가시켜 감사품질을 높이는 결과를 보였다.
Korean listed companies have implemented K-IFRS(Korean International Financial Reporting Standards) since 2011. Because K-IFRS is a principle-based standard, it allows preparers or auditors to rely on their rational judgment when they make an accounting decision. Also, much of K-IFRS is not precise, so preparers or auditors determine the specific treatment on their own judgment on economic substance about the accounting transaction. One of imprecise standards of K-IFRS is the provision about consolidation scope. Because consolidated financial statements became primary statements of K-IFRS, the judgment on consolidation scope is one of the most important judgment and decision makings (JDM) in accounting in IFRS era. However, K-IFRS provide only broad principles, so preparers or auditors should make discretionary accounting treatment within the principles on their own judgment. Because auditors make an important decision on determining financial statement, the study on auditors decision on consolidation scope is needed. In this regard, this study is to investigate auditors` consolidation scope judgment under K-IFRS, especially focusing on client`s needs on accounting treatment and audit review probability. Under a principle-based standard, the company can request an accounting treatment more favorable to the company. Also, the supervisory authority should reduce auditors` aggressive reporting by the audit review. Therefore, this paper examines the effects of clients` needs and audit review probability on auditors` consolidation scope judgment. This study conducts an experiment and collected the data by a questionnaire. This paper uses an fictitious scenario about consolidation scope as follows. The respondents are told to be auditor of a listed company A, and decide whether company A should consolidate company C or not. The company A holds a 40 percent of shares and convertible bonds of company C at the end of 2011. Though company A is not the largest shareholder of company C, company A can control company C with conversion of the convertible bonds. The net asset value of company C is impaired perfectly at the end of 2011 due to poor business performance, and company C records large losses this year. In this fictitious scenario, it is ambiguous whether company A would consolidate company C. If an auditor auditor of company A reflects 40 percent of the loss of company C and disregard the intent of conversion of the convertible bond, company A can consolidate company C. On the other hand, because company C is impaired perfectly and it is assumed to be liquidated in a few years, company A would not exercise convertible bonds of company C. According to IG2 of IAS 27, in this case company A don`t control company C, company A do not need to consolidate company C. Using this ambiguous scenario, this study examines the effects of client`s needs (advantageously vs. reasonably) and regulator`s audit review probability (high vs. low) on auditors` consolidation scope decision In addition, this paper controls auditor`s experience and risk attitude, which can affect auditors` JDM. This study conducted an experiment using a questionnaire. Two treatment variables were manipulated as between-subject. Accordingly this experiment is designed with 4 groups. The dependent variable is measured as auditors` consolidation scope decision by 11-point scale. The subjects are auditors presently working at Big 4 accounting firms in Korea, and having at least three years` experience as auditors. The results of this study are as follows. First, the respondents` judgment is significantly influenced by client`s needs, so they tend to make aggressive decision favorable to client because of the ambiguity of principle-based standards, that is, K-IRS. On the other hand, their judgment is not significantly influenced by regulator`s audit review probability, so they do not surely make conservative decision because they think they will defend themselves if they make decision capturing economic substance as purpose of principle-based standards. Additionally, we infer the changes in Big 4 auditors` decision consensus or audit quality by analyzing standard deviation of the responses. The results indicate that client`s needs lowers audit quality by lowering auditors` decision consensus, while regulator`s audit review probability raises audit quality by increasing auditors` decision consensus. The results of this study indicate some implications in the situation where external users are doubtful for consolidation scope under K-IFRS. Firs, auditors make accounting decision according to their incentives by utilizing the purpose or the features of K-IFRS, a principle-based standard. It may be interpreted that K-IFRS has the merits that it reflects economic substances well, but the demerits are that it induces aggressive JDM for its ambiguity. Next, it must be interested in the change of auditors` consensus as well as the direction of their JMD as auditors confirm their client`s financial statements and make them more reliable. With these results, this study proposes some suggestions for accounting standards as follows. First, client`s needs make auditors to accept aggressive accounting procedures. As this causes the decrease of their consensus and the deterioration of audit quality, authorities should make efforts to enhance auditors` independence and their ethics. On the other hand, regulator`s audit review make auditors to do JDM in auditing according to economic substances of K-IFRS. Because regulator`s review increases auditors` consensus and audit quality, authorities need to emphasize their reviews and do more effort to review perfectly.