Independent financial auditing and the crusade against government sector financial mismanagement in Ghana

Abu Shiraz Rahaman (Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Publication date: 2 October 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the increasing role of financial auditing in the fight against government sector fraud and financial mismanagement in Ghana, Africa. Using a Foucauldian‐inspired theoretical framing, the paper explores the growing cases of fraud in the Ghanaian public sector and the technologies of government that have been enlisted to combat it. The paper also discusses the particular interests that are likely served by the push for financial audits as the preferred weapon for fighting government sector fraud in the country.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach of the paper is qualitative involving the use of a variety of archival material and interviews with employees of the Ghana Audit Service, the Controller and Accountant‐General's Department, and global agencies like the World Bank and United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Findings

The paper finds that contrary to the view of “auditing as an alien phenomenon in most parts of the Third World, certainly Africa,” financial auditing is the preferred approach to fighting government sector fraud in Ghana. The paper also shows that financial auditing is privileged over other technologies of government, in this context, largely because it reinforces the hegemony of international development agencies like the World Bank and the imperialism of the big four accounting firms.

Originality/value

The paper adds insight into the increasing role of financial auditing in the fight against government sector fraud and financial mismanagement in Ghana.

Keywords

Citation

Shiraz Rahaman, A. (2009), "Independent financial auditing and the crusade against government sector financial mismanagement in Ghana", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 224-246. https://doi.org/10.1108/11766090910989509

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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