SWOT analysis for the independent audit profession in Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor of Accounting, University Of Tehran, Farabi Campus

2 Associate prof, Accounting Faculty of Management, University of Tehran

3 Department of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of management and accounting, University of Tehran, Farabi Campus, Qom, Iran


Objective: The independent audit profession has a key position in the country's economic system and has faced many challenges and changes in recent years. In order to maximize its value and prestige, the profession's stakeholders and participants need a strategic understanding of the internal and external factors that influence it. The purpose of this study is to provide a SWOT analysis of the independent audit profession in Iran.

Methods: This research is a qualitative and grounded theory study. Data collection is done by a triangular approach including 20 semi-structured interviews, 38 secondary interviews, and a qualitative analysis of 500 documents from the professional journals of Iran.

Results: The findings show that the Iranian independent audit profession is strong in terms of having professional structures. However, it has weaknesses in three dimensions: low audit fees, interaction with stakeholders, structural and legal problems, and lack of solidarity and synergy. On the other hand, the profession's advancement opportunities can be explained from four dimensions, including attracting stakeholders' attention and trust, development of international relations, enlargement of audit firms, and restructuring in the pillars of the profession. Also, the profession faces three threats: the expectations gap, conditions of the country's enterprises, and the political and economic conditions of Iran.

Conclusion: The results of SWOT analysis indicate the severity of the expectations gap between expectations and the destructive effects of the situation of the country's economic enterprises and the political and economic conditions on Iran's independent auditing profession. The strengths and pillars of the independent auditing profession in Iran are professional organizations and infrastructure, the establishment of a legal institution for official accountants in the country, the development of accounting and auditing standards, and finally, professional associations. The most important weaknesses of Iran's independent auditing profession are low audit fees, poor interaction with stakeholders, structural and legal problems, quality control based on the profession of certified public accountants, and lack of solidarity and increasing professionalism. The opportunities for independent auditing in Iran can be explained in four dimensions, including attracting the attention and trust of stakeholders, developing international relations, enlarging audit firms, and restructuring the pillars of the professional profession. The most important threat to Iran's independent auditing profession is the distance between stakeholder expectations, the conditions of the country's economic enterprises, and the economic and political conditions of the country. Therefore, policy makers and stakeholders must work with strategic management of strengths and opportunities to address the growing factors that weaken and threaten the profession in the country.