The purpose of this paper is to provide a qualitative, computationally assisted examination of prominent content patterns in the 2001–2016 National Audit Office of Finland (NAOF) performance audit reports and foremost changes in these patterns.
Without ex ante researcher decisions on which content elements are important, the authors use computational content analysis of topic modelling for detecting content patterns and their changes in the performance audit reports.
In the content patterns, professional effectiveness auditing stands out, whereas efficiency auditing is more weakly present. Other content patterns correspond to the NAOF institutional position and its audit mandate, the institutional characteristics of Finland’s public sector, and independent NAOF decisions in orienting its work. The authors can discern both ascendant, ascendant and stabler content patterns.
As the paper emphasises textual analysis, examining from where changes in the content patterns derive is secondary. Implications for both more intensive and extensive future research are drawn.
The authors argue that together with other approaches the approach has potential in monitoring Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) performance auditing in the level of its contents.
Knowing how an SAI orients its performance auditing has potential to support SAI monitoring by stakeholders – Parliament, the government, the citizens and others.
This is a comprehensive examination of the content patterns of the performance audit reports of an SAI since the 2001 introduction of its present institutional position.
Ahonen, P. and Koljonen, J. (2020), "The contents of the National Audit Office of Finland performance audits, 2001–2016: An interpretive study with computational content analysis", Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, Vol. 32 No. 1, pp. 49-66. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBAFM-11-2018-0138Download as .RIS
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