Investigating Factors Influencing Inclination to Quit the Auditing Profession

Document Type : Research Paper


1 MSc., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Prof., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Management and Accounting, Central Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.

3 Lecture, Department of Accounting, Faculty of Accounting, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran.



Objective: In light of recent economic trends, organizations face an inevitable need to invest in human resources to maintain their competitive edge. The presence of competent employees with professional knowledge and skills serves as a key factor in creating a competitive advantage for auditing firms. Acknowledging that employees serve as the most vital and fundamental assets of auditing institutions, it becomes imperative to address a fundamental concern within the auditing profession i.e., the inclination of auditors to quit the profession. Referred to as "brain drain," the phenomenon has the potential to pose a significant threat to the overall quality and credibility of the auditing profession. This study aims to investigate and assess the primary factors that impact the intention of auditors to quit the auditing profession in Iran.
Methods: This is a quantitative study conducted in 2021. Initially, a comprehensive review of the research literature to extract was conducted to identify the main components contributing to the intention to exit the auditing profession. Subsequently, a research questionnaire was designed using exploratory factor analysis to identify the factors influencing auditors' decision to leave the profession. Finally, a path analysis was done to examine the impact of each factor on auditors' intention to quit the profession. The target population comprised the auditors in auditing firms affiliated with the Association of Official Accountants in Iran, excluding senior supervisors, managers, and partners who may possess distinct reasons for intending to leave the auditing profession despite their expertise and competence. The estimated population size in 2021 was 3,481 individuals, and the sample size was determined to be 346 individuals using the Cochran formula.
Results: According to the statistical analyses carried out in this study, factors such as auditing remuneration, future career prospects, job characteristics, and organizational support have a significant and positive impact on the intention to depart from the auditing profession. However, factors such as adherence to professional ethics by partners and managers, as well as commitment, demonstrate a significant influence on the intention to leave the profession.
Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of addressing specific factors to retain skilled and committed professionals in auditing firms and reduce their intention to exit the profession. To effectively mitigate the intention to exit the auditing profession, it is essential to address auditing remuneration under the rates approved by the Iranian Association of Official Accountants, foster a forward-looking mindset, embrace innovative technologies and approaches, cultivate a positive vision for the profession's future, and enhance the work environment and organizational support. These measures, once implemented, lead to an improvement in the quality of audit reports.


Main Subjects

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