In the UK, the accountancy profession plays an important and influential role in the audit and regulation of economic and social affairs. Although an increasing amount of interest is currently being taken in the role of accounting and auditing in society, comparatively little attention has been given to the profession′s obligation, as mentioned in the Royal Charters, to act as guardian of the “public interest” in relation to public policy making. Through an examination of correspondence with the professional bodies, stimulated by a refusal to provide information about matters relating to an auditing guideline, the accountability of these bodies to their members and to the public more generally is discussed. It is suggested by the evidence that the profession′s interpretation of the requirement to serve the “public interest” is not easily reconciled with its declared obligations.
Sikka, P., Willmott, H. and Lowe, T. (1989), "Guardians of Knowledge and Public Interest: Evidence and Issues of Accountability in the UK Accountancy Profession.", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 2 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513578910132286Download as .RIS
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