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Conceptualizing the duties and roles of auditors in Islamic financial institutions: What makes them different?

Radiah Othman (School of Accountancy, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand)
Rashid Ameer (Faculty of International Studies, International Pacific College, Palmerston North, New Zealand)


ISSN: 0828-8666

Article publication date: 11 May 2015




The purpose of this paper is to describe the role and responsibilities of Shari’ah auditors in Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) in the auditing process in the IFIs, to highlight capacity building challenges in the Shari’ah auditing industry.


The authors used a legitimacy theory to understand linkages between demand for Shari’ah audit and the role of Shari’ah auditors in IFIs complemented with the review the Accounting and Auditing Organization of Islamic Financial Institutions and Auditing Standard for Islamic Financial Institutions to understand the Shari’ah audit work requirements from an Islamic perspective.


Shari’ah auditing is an emerging field of investigation. There is no doubt that conventional auditing has a significant influence on the auditing frameworks used in IFIs. Western auditing practices are undergoing a metamorphosis to meet the needs of stakeholders in the Islamic economic system. The role and responsibilities of auditors in IFIs are much broader than those found in conventional banks in relation to an examination of a variety of contracts, product structures, transactions reporting, preparation of financial statements, reports, marketing circulars and any other legal documents, which are pertinent to IFIs’ operations.

Practical implications

We posit that the absence of a proper Shari’ah auditing framework and standards attuned to the needs of an Islamic economic system could dampen the future of the Islamic finance industry. The regulators and management of IFIs should meet the expectations of the stakeholders to whom they owe a duty of care by selecting competent professionals for auditing work, along with transparent policies and systems.


This paper presents an attempt to establish auditors’ roles and responsibilities from an Islamic perspective.



Othman, R. and Ameer, R. (2015), "Conceptualizing the duties and roles of auditors in Islamic financial institutions: What makes them different?", Humanomics, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 201-213.



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Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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