The Contested Concept of Auditor Independence

Independent Accounts

ISBN: 978-0-76231-382-2, eISBN: 978-1-84950-468-3

ISSN: 1041-7060

Publication date: 28 December 2006


This paper has two purposes. The first is to demonstrate that over time, and in a number of professional and academic places, the concept of auditor independence has been contested; that is, there have been different concepts of auditor independence within different time periods, and even when there appears to have been consensus on the meaning of auditor independence, there have been significant debates about auditor independence. The second purpose of the paper is to advocate a complete reconsideration of the concept of auditor independence; one which would move us towards the idea that auditors should be prohibited from acting as advocates in any way on behalf of their clients, and that client management should have no ability whatsoever to determine the audit fee or the scope of audit engagement. These are controversial ideas. They are meant to be so.


Baker, C.R. (2006), "The Contested Concept of Auditor Independence", Lehman, C.R. (Ed.) Independent Accounts (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 17-26.

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