Substantial doubt and the entropy of auditors’ going concern opinions

Kim Ittonen, Per C. Tronnes, Leon Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Auditors need to establish a substantial doubt threshold in order to determine the type of audit report to issue, but substantial doubt is not defined in the auditing standards. Auditors are regularly criticized for having high thresholds, which results in too few going concern reports. We apply Shannon entropy from information theory as the criterion to evaluate the informational value of the audit report. Shannon entropy provides a measure of the expected information content associated with the realization of an uncertain event. First, we estimate the client’s probability of bankruptcy in our sample. Second, using the distribution of the probability of bankruptcy we calculate the entropy at each point of the probability of bankruptcy. We find that entropy is maximized at the 0.08 probability of bankruptcy.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)134-147
Publication statusPublished - 26.05.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'Substantial doubt and the entropy of auditors’ going concern opinions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this