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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Ian M. Hughes, John D. Holden and Andrea M. Tree

Background: Many audits in primary care can be criticized because of the absence of verifiable data to measure outcomes, and the lack of a non‐participating group against…

Abstract

Background: Many audits in primary care can be criticized because of the absence of verifiable data to measure outcomes, and the lack of a non‐participating group against which to compare results. Objective: Using Prescribing Analyses and Cost (PACT) data to quantify the effect of an audit in 15 practices. We sought to quantify the effect of the audit of benzodiazepine prescribing in a district by measuring the detailed changes in prescribing in participating practices before, during and after audit, and by comparing the volume of prescribing of these drugs in participating and neighbouring non‐participating practices. Methods: At the start of the audit, 291 993 patients in the Sefton district of North West England were registered with 55 general practices. Fifteen practices, caring for 87 902 patients, took part in an audit of benzodiazepine prescribing. We analysed routinely‐collected prescribing data to assess trends in benzodiazepine prescribing for those practices which took part in the audit and the remaining (non‐participatory) practices in the district. Main measures: The number of defined daily doses of benzodiazepine prescribed by those general practitioners auditing their prescribing of these drugs during the audit. The volume of benzodiazepines prescribed by all general practitioners in Sefton during the quarter immediately before and the quarter immediately after the audit. Results: There was a significant reduction in the number of defined daily doses dispensed for temazepam, nitrazepam, and lorazepam during the audit. There was a significantly greater reduction in the number of items prescribed by those doctors who took part in the audit than their colleagues who did not. Conclusions: An audit of benzodiazepine prescribing achieved a significant reduction in the volume of these drugs dispensed. An analysis of routinely‐collected data can usefully measure the result of an audit of prescribing.

Details

Journal of Clinical Effectiveness, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-5874

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1996

Carol Davies, Joy Fletcher, Ala Szczepura and John Wilmot

Since 1990, the changes introduced in UK general practice, such as fund holding and national incentives, have altered the process of care. Audit, defined as “the…

Abstract

Since 1990, the changes introduced in UK general practice, such as fund holding and national incentives, have altered the process of care. Audit, defined as “the systematic critical analysis of the quality of medical care, including the procedures used for diagnosis and treatment, the use of resources, and the resulting outcome and quality of life for patients”, is one method of monitoring change and raising standards. Presents a successful co‐ordinated audit in Warwickshire, 1991‐1993, involving 53 general practices. Highlights the influence of attitudes and communications within practices on the success of audit strategies. Associates aspects of practice culture, such as team working and decision‐making processes, with successful audit. Postulates six descriptive practice types, largely related to cultural factors. Suggests that if cultural factors within practices are identified, external assistance with audit may be more focused and effective.

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International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 9 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

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Article
Publication date: 2 December 2020

Mohammed Muneerali Thottoli and Thomas K.V.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between characteristics of information communication technology (ICT, adoption, confidence, competency and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between characteristics of information communication technology (ICT, adoption, confidence, competency and training) and auditing practices. The paper further explained the significance of the auditing practices, evaluated the relationship between ICT characteristics (adoption, confidence, competency, training) and auditing practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a quantitative approach, where a set of questionnaires was developed by making necessary adaptations to available scales/items. Data were collected from practicing chartered accountants in Kerala targeting 89 respondents from various professional auditing firms. The results were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and structural equation modelling-partial least squares statistical tools.

Findings

The findings confirmed that there is a positive relationship between three components of ICT factors on audit practice, namely, ICT adoption, ICT competency and ICT training, whereas the factor, ICT confidence has a negative relationship with audit practice. Thus, the availability of ICT-competent staff, their practical ICT knowledge, sufficient and adequate ICT training assist audit firms from doing audit by implementing customized audit software for audit practice.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of the study is that limited variables of ICT on audit practice are taken in the model. Refinement of the model and the variables (such as ICT challenges), ICT perceived benefits and the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) model used provide an opportunity for future research.

Practical implications

The barriers facing by non-big four audit firms (especially sole proprietorship and limited liability partnership firms) faces ICT challenges requires intense management interventions to be self-equipped for the current information technology (IT) world and to facilitate and to ensure fairness of financial statements to the stakeholders that strongly links auditors advance IT skills and available firms resources to investment and adopt audit software for the benefits of the audit firms.

Originality/value

The paper upstretched some of the ICT challenges that will assist as points, which have been helpful for future researchers, and have provided accounting and auditing professionals, auditing professional institutions and their management, government, tax officials, policy makers, auditing software vendors and other stakeholders the bases for encouraging ICT adoption.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

Christopher Humphrey

The purpose of this paper is to review the contribution made by auditing research over the last three decades to understandings of audit practice and to consider the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the contribution made by auditing research over the last three decades to understandings of audit practice and to consider the implications for the future development of the discipline.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of a literature review.

Findings

The paper challenges the extent of one's knowledge of audit practice, highlighting a variety of concerns with dominant research approaches/traditions and pin‐pointing a range of research questions and approaches which offer potentially rewarding insights of the audit practice arena.

Practical implications

The paper emphasises the scope for auditing researchers and practitioners to think differently about audit practice and to work collectively in pursuing advances in auditing knowledge and educational processes more generally.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates just how vibrant contemporary auditing research agendas can be when the focus is directly on understanding the practice of audit and the work of associated regulatory institutions. It argues that the development of the auditing research discipline has been hindered by desired attachments to so‐called notions of “scientific rigour” and a reluctance across significant parts of the discipline to undertake (or even acknowledge) research of a more “qualitative” or “critical” dimension.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2011

Gerrit Sarens and Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi

The aim of this paper is to investigate a number of factors that are theoretically associated with convergence toward best practices in internal auditing.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to investigate a number of factors that are theoretically associated with convergence toward best practices in internal auditing.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper defines best practices as internal audit tools and techniques that are used by at least 67 percent of the internal audit functions (IAFs) in the USA. A sample of 26 countries and data from 1,708 IAFs were used in this study.

Findings

The paper finds evidence of a high degree of de facto convergence of internal auditing practices toward US best practices. It also finds that IAFs in emerging countries converge more rapidly to best practices than IAFs in developed countries. Finally, the use of the Institute of Internal Auditors' (IIA) Standards and an external quality assessment in the past three years are found to be positively and significantly associated with convergence toward US best practices.

Research limitations/implications

The most important limitation of the data used in the study is that they reflect respondents' perceptions, which may deviate from reality. Also, data were only available for one‐half of the emerging countries listed in the MSCI Global Standards Index. Limitations aside, this study has significant implications for future research investigating various factors associated with emerging countries rapidly converging toward US best practices.

Practical implications

The results support the IIA's efforts to unify internal auditing practices around the world via its Standards. However, the additional analysis shows that the impact of the Standards is rather limited. The results also imply that formal assessment of internal auditing practices results in a more substantial change in the adoption of best practices.

Originality/value

The convergence of internal auditing is a part of the convergence of corporate governance practices which has become a topic of interest in academic research. While internal auditing has developed over a relatively long period of time in developed countries, such development must take place over a shorter period of time in emerging countries to catch up with developed countries. The current study's findings indicate that convergence of internal auditing practice is not context‐free.

Details

Journal of Accounting in Emerging Economies, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-1168

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2019

Alan Toy, David Lau, David Hay and Gehan Gunasekara

This paper aims to uncover the practices of different privacy auditors to reveal the extent of any similarities in such practices. The purpose is to investigate the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to uncover the practices of different privacy auditors to reveal the extent of any similarities in such practices. The purpose is to investigate the drivers of practices used by privacy auditors and to identify potential for improvements in the practice of privacy auditing so that privacy audits may better serve stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

Six semi-structured interviews with seven privacy auditors and regulators and an analyst across Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the USA are used as the basis for our analysis.

Findings

The study shows that some privacy auditors view privacy as an organizational issue, which means that all staff within an organization should understand the privacy issues that are relevant to the organization and to its customers. Because this practice goes beyond a mere compliance approach to privacy auditing, it indicates that there is a way to avoid the approach of merely applying standards from national data privacy laws which is an approach that has been subject to criticism because it is not applicable to the current situation of global applications and cross-border data. The interview themes demonstrate that privacy audits face significant challenges, such as the lack of a privacy auditing profession and the difficulty of raising the awareness of organizations and individuals regarding information privacy rights and duties.

Originality/value

Privacy auditing is mostly unexplored by academic research and little is known about the drivers behind the practice of privacy auditing. This study is the first to document the views of privacy auditors regarding the practices that they use. It also presents novel results regarding the drivers of the practice of privacy auditing and the interests of the beneficiaries of privacy audits. It builds on research that argues for the existence of best practices for privacy (Toy, 2013; Toy and Hay, 2015) and it extends this argument by providing reasons why privacy auditors may benefit from the use of best practices for privacy.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Faudziah Hanim Fadzil, Hasnah Haron and Muhamad Jantan

Two main objectives and they are: to determine whether the internal audit department of the companies listed in the Bursa Malaysia complies with the Standards for the…

Abstract

Purpose

Two main objectives and they are: to determine whether the internal audit department of the companies listed in the Bursa Malaysia complies with the Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditors IIA (2000); and, to determine whether compliance to SPPIA will affect the quality of the internal control system of the company.

Design/methodology/approach

Two sets of questionnaires were used in the study. Internal auditing practices was measured by the items listed in the SPPIA and the internal control was measured by means of the statement on internal control: guidance for directors of public listed companies. The population used in this study was all the companies listed in the Bursa Malaysia in 2001. This study used both descriptive and inferential analyses.

Findings

It was found that management of internal audit department, professional proficiency, objectivity and review significantly influence the monitoring aspect of the internal control system. Scope of work and performance of audit work significantly influences the information and communication aspect of the internal control system while performance of audit work, professional proficiency and objectivity significantly influence the control environment aspect of the internal control system. The study also shows that management of internal audit department, performance of audit work, audit program and audit reporting significantly influences the risk assessment aspect of the internal control system. Lastly, performance of audit work and audit reporting significantly influences the control activities aspect of the internal control system.

Research limitations/implications

The research has contributed to the agency theory with respect to the bonding costs that management has to pay to the internal auditors for the best interest of the principals of the companies. Another important implication pertains to the extent of the internal auditing practices among internal auditors in Malaysian public listed companies. Research has also shown that the compliance with internal auditing practices partially influence certain aspects of the quality of the internal control system.

Originality/value

This is the first empirical study that has linked the compliance of the internal auditing function to the SPPIA and its effect on the internal control system.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 20 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Christina Chiang and Deryl Northcott

The purpose of this paper is to examine how New Zealand financial auditors could be motivated to improve current practices in regards to auditing the effects of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how New Zealand financial auditors could be motivated to improve current practices in regards to auditing the effects of environmental matters in financial reports.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study. The views of 27 New Zealand private and public sector auditors were solicited via semi‐structured interviews. Concepts from new institutional theory, and in particular institutional isomorphism, are used to interpret the research findings.

Findings

The interview evidence indicates that a combination of normative, coercive and mimetic forces would be necessary to advance current practices in auditing environmental matters. A crucial driver of change would be a mindset shift within the profession about the importance of environmental accountability, reporting and auditing – i.e. increased normative pressures for change. Coercive forces of negative media publicity, the “fear factor” and government intervention can serve to reinforce the audit profession's normative obligations. Since public sector auditors have already developed effective audit practices around environmental matters, emulating their approach within the private sector would drive improvements in practice.

Practical implications

By identifying the potential drivers for improving auditors' practices, this paper can inform the discussions and strategies of professional bodies, regulators and government on improving the audit of environmental matters in financial reports.

Originality/value

Few prior studies have solicited financial auditors' views on the factors they perceive as motivating change in their professional practice, and none have done so in regard to the important and emerging area of environmental matters. This New Zealand study offers a timely contribution, as well as geographical diversity, to the international literature on audit theory and practice.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Niamh M. Brennan and Collette E. Kirwan

The purpose of this paper is to review and critique prior research on audit committees using a practice-theory lens. Research on audit committees has followed the same…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review and critique prior research on audit committees using a practice-theory lens. Research on audit committees has followed the same trajectory as early research on boards of directors, which has been criticised for its singular theoretical perspectives and methodologies that do not capture the complexity of real-world experiences/behaviours.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors devise an analytical framework based on practice theory to conduct the review. The authors examine what audit committees should do (i.e. best practice) vs what audit committees actually do (i.e. actual activities in practice – praxis). Attributes of audit committee members, and the relationship dynamics relevant to their role execution (i.e. practitioners), are considered.

Findings

Research on boards has found that over-emphasis on agency theory’s monitoring role negatively impacts boards’ effectiveness. The authors invoke other theories in examining what audit committees do in practice. The authors characterise the role of audit committees as oversight not monitoring. The authors question whether, similar to auditing, audit committees are blamist tools or are genuinely orientated towards supporting improvements in organisational management systems. The authors unpack the ritualistic ceremonial behaviours and symbolic endeavours vs substantive engagement by audit committees. The analytical framework also considers the “guardianship circle” around audit committees in the form of the key practitioners and their relationships: audit committee members, auditors and managers.

Originality/value

Drawing on the analytical framework, the authors provide directions for further opportunities for research of audit committees.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Michele D. Meckfessel and Drew Sellers

This paper responds to concerns raised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and scholars over the rapid…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper responds to concerns raised by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) and scholars over the rapid growth of Big 4 consulting practices. This paper aims to explores the question: Does the regrowth of sizable consulting practices by the Big 4 influence audit reporting lag and restatement rates?

Design/methodology/approach

A population of the SEC-registered US audit clients of the Big 4 was used in this study. Longitudinal data on Big 4 audit clients from 2000 through 2009 were analyzed to determine the impact of consulting practice size on the clients’ audit reporting lag and restatement rate.

Findings

This paper finds that consulting practice size has a positive and statistically significant influence on audit reporting lag and restatement rate. The results are robust to alternative specifications of the sample and controlling for the level of non-audit services provided to audit clients.

Practical implications

The findings contribute to the discussion of the scope-of-services issue. They provide empirical support for Zeff’s (2003) and Wyatt’s (2004) intuition that the loss of Big 4 professional focus – not simply conflicts of interests – is a major factor affecting the audit quality.

Originality/value

The uniqueness of this paper is in how it counts restatements. Each year this paper counts that annual financial statements are restated as opposed to each disclosure of a restatement. This paper’s contribution is to examine the association between the regrowth of Big 4 accounting firm consulting practices with audit reporting lag and restatements.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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