Graduation Year

Fall 2012

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Peter Bergevin

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© 2012 Gabrielle Jamie Beer


Until recently, the role of auditors in the 2008 financial crisis had largely been overlooked by regulators and the general public. Though not responsible for the meltdown, accounting firms have been criticized – and sued – for failing to warn investors about problems at financial institutions before the crisis.

Auditors can and should take steps to improve their function as independent overseers in the financial world. But there also is a gap between the expectations of auditors and their true responsibilities. As Lord Justice Lopes at the Court of Appeal in England famously said more than a century ago: The auditor “is a watchdog but not a bloodhound.” This thesis examines the so-called expectations gap and recommends ways to improve the audit quality of financial institutions.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.