Choosing an alternative approach to financial statement assurance

Thank you for agreeing to participate in this research study!

When investing in company shares listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, it’s important to have access to reliable financial information for your decisions. At present assurance of financial information is provided by an auditor who conducts an annual audit of a company's financial reports to determine if they are appropriate (present a 'true and fair' view). Under the audit model third parties (shareholders, creditors) can only seek redress when it can be proved auditors have been negligent in performing the audit. This model can give rise to significant conflicts of interest.

This survey seeks to gauge preferences of information users as to whether, as an alternative to audit, a product such as a modified form of warranty and indemnity insurance (W&II) should be considered. Under a modified W&II model, certain elements of financial statement are insured, and an insurance claim can be made to recover misstated amounts. Under this insurance model, third parties (shareholders, creditors) could seek redress under the insurance policy and could share in the proceeds of a successful claim. Additionally, auditors may be employed by insurers to verify insured balances. This model can service to ameliorate potential conflicts of interest arising from an audit.

Firstly we will ask you about some new features. You will then be asked to rank the features that you prefer for different types of public companies. The survey should take around 10 minutes of your time to complete.