Online from: 1988
Subject Area: Accounting and Finance
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|Title:||Evidence of an expectation gap for greenhouse gas emissions assurance|
|Author(s):||Wendy Green, (School of Accounting, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia), Qixin Li, (School of Accounting, Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)|
|Citation:||Wendy Green, Qixin Li, (2012) "Evidence of an expectation gap for greenhouse gas emissions assurance", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 25 Iss: 1, pp.146 - 173|
|Keywords:||Assurance companies, Carbon, Carbon assurance, Expectation gap, GHG assurance standard, Global warming, Greenhouse gas emissions assurance|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/09513571211191789 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
Purpose – This paper aims to examine whether an expectation gap exists between different stakeholders (i.e. emissions preparers, emissions assurers and shareholders) in relation to the assurance of greenhouse gas emissions. Further, the paper seeks to explore whether stakeholder expectations are influenced by the uncertainties inherent in the assurance engagement for different industry sectors (i.e. greenhouse gas emitter or greenhouse gas user entities).
Design/methodology/approach – An experimental survey was used to address the stated aims. Three stakeholder groups: shareholders, greenhouse gas emissions preparers and assurers, completed a survey based on the greenhouse gas emissions assurance for either an emitter or user entity.
Findings – The results provide support for the existence of an expectation gap in the emission assurance setting. Fundamental differences were identified between the stakeholder groups in relation to the responsibilities of the assurer and management; as well as the reliability and decision usefulness of the emissions statement. Moreover, the extent of the gap was found to differ between user entity engagements and emitter entity engagements.
Research limitations/implications – The paper highlights the need for the assurance services profession and assurance standard setters to consider mechanisms to enhance the effectiveness of communicating the assurance function in this setting in order to enhance the credibility and social value of emissions assurance.
Originality/value – The paper is the first to examine the expectation gap in the greenhouse gas emissions assurance context. It thereby also contributes to the literature on the expectation gap in the assurance of non-financial information. Moreover, the research findings provide standard setters with unique insights into areas to consider as they work toward the development of an international assurance standard for greenhouse gas emissions statements.
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