This study examines the effect of independence factors on audit expectation gap in listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. The population of the study comprises of the investors/shareholders, lenders and other creditors and a sample of 385 respondents was selected using Cohran sample size formula. The period under study is from January, 2012 to December, 2019. The study used a questionnaire drawn on a five point likert scale to collect data. The questionnaire has been pilot tested for reliability and validity, using the Cronbach alpha and Kendall’s coefficient of concordance. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple-regression analysis. The study concludes that auditor depends on client economically. Competing for audit market, carrying out non-audit market service, receiving gifts from management and prospects for reappointment are strong determinants of audit expectation gap in deposit money banks in Nigeria. The study opines that the independence factors have significant positive impact on audit expectation gap in listed deposit money banks in Nigeria. This finding is in line with that of Salehi et al., Amaechi and Chinedu as well as Kamau et al. but is not consistent with findings of Ogweno and Kamau. The study recommends that regulatory authority and professional accounting associations should ensure that auditors avoid economic dependence on the client, carrying out services which are not audit related, and collecting gifts from management and that the regulatory authority has to emphasize on auditors tenures and appointment of auditor shall be through a centrally organized body and not allow audit firms to be competing among themselves.
Key words: Audit, expectation gap, independence factors, Banks, Nigeria.
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