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Author reflections on the Auditor's Dictionary

David O'Regan (Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 1 October 2004

Abstract

In this paper, the author of the Auditor's Dictionary: Terms, Concepts, Processes, and Regulations reflects on the challenges and implications of dictionary‐writing. The paper takes the form of a discursive literary review. Preparation of the Auditor's Dictionary offered insights into contentious aspects of lexicography, ranging from definitions of the term “dictionary” to the subjective nature of lexical selection. The Auditor's Dictionary also illuminated a number of characteristics of auditing, including the nature of auditing's intellectual foundations; its rather loose lexicon; its increasing self‐assertion as a field independent of accounting; and the discipline's social status and credibility. The traditional subsuming of the auditing lexicon within accounting dictionaries has reflected the historical origins of auditing within accounting, but it does not reflect the increasingly independent status of auditing as a standalone discipline. The Auditor's Dictionary may assist in reinforcing the conceptual peg on which the language of auditing rests. In addition, dictionaries often act as more than information providers – they frequently take on the role of cultural artefact or ideological instrument. The existence of a dictionary for a field of activity can be a signal of status and credibility, and the Auditor's Dictionary may have potential repercussions for the intellectual and professional status of auditing.

Keywords

Citation

O'Regan, D. (2004), "Author reflections on the Auditor's Dictionary", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 19 No. 8, pp. 1014-1024. https://doi.org/10.1108/02686900410557917

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited