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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Cédric Lesage, Geraldine Hottegindre and Charles Richard Baker

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to understand the role of the statutory auditing profession in France. The study is theoretically based on distinctions between…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to understand the role of the statutory auditing profession in France. The study is theoretically based on distinctions between a functionalist view of professions and a neo-weberian view. Prior research, conducted in Anglo-American countries has shown that the auditing profession has focussed primarily on protecting the private interests of the profession. Hence, there is a need to conduct research on this topic in a code law country where the state is expected to play a significant role in protecting the public interest.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology involves a content analysis of 148 disciplinary decisions issued against statutory auditors in France from 1989 to 2006. This analysis identified 21 types of violations grouped into public interest or private interest offences. Because visible offences are public and are more likely to threaten the reputation of the profession, these types of decisions are also studied with respect to their visibility.

Findings

The results reveal that in a code law country such as France the auditing profession tends to defend both the public interest as well as its private interests. The results also support the “visibility” effect.

Research limitations/implications

The written disciplinary decisions have been anonymized so that the names of the auditors and the clients cannot be identified.

Originality/value

This paper differs from previous studies conducted in the Anglo-American context which show an emphasis on protecting the private interests of the auditing profession. Moreover, this study reveals the existence of “mixed” offences and underlines that a profession primarily focusses on these cases. Thus, the work reconciles in part the functionalist and neo-weberian perspectives. Lastly, this paper confirms the importance of the visibility effect.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2019

Damai Nasution and Ralf Östermark

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test the scale of auditors’ awareness of the profession’s reputation for independence, defined as the degree to which auditors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test the scale of auditors’ awareness of the profession’s reputation for independence, defined as the degree to which auditors recognise the importance of the reputation for independence and acknowledge the impact of their judgements and decisions on that reputation, and to provide preliminary evidence of an association between auditors’ awareness of the profession’s reputation and auditors’ ethical judgement.

Design/methodology/approach

A seven-item scale was developed to measure auditors’ awareness of the profession’s reputation for independence, and an auditing case was used to measure auditors’ ethical judgement. A survey questionnaire of practising auditors working in auditing firms in Indonesia provides data for testing the validity and reliability of the new scale and proposed hypothesis.

Findings

The findings show that the scale is unidimensional and has satisfied reliability and validity. Moreover, the preliminary evidence of a positive association between the new scale and auditors’ ethical judgement is provided.

Research limitations/implications

Further studies should test the validity and reliability of the scale of awareness of the profession’s reputation for independence with larger data and in different settings. Investigation of the antecedent factors of auditors’ awareness of the profession’s reputation for independence is suggested.

Originality/value

This paper develops a new measure, namely, the awareness of the profession’s reputation for independence. Preliminary evidence to establish an association between that awareness and auditor ethical judgement is provided.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 16 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Elewechi Okike

The recent collapse of Enron and revelations of unethical behaviour by members of the board of large corporations in the USA have reopened the debate about the credibility…

Abstract

The recent collapse of Enron and revelations of unethical behaviour by members of the board of large corporations in the USA have reopened the debate about the credibility of the auditing profession and their usefulness in establishing confidence in the capital markets. In the case of Nigeria, the promulgation of the Companies and Allied Matters Act No. 1 in 1990 provided the opportunity for the government to register its dissatisfaction with the performance of auditors in Nigeria. The act contained provisions that challenged the credibility of the accounting profession in Nigeria and almost threatened its very existence. This paper examines events and environmental factors which led to the “crisis of confidence” and how the profession has attempted to re‐establish public confidence in its members. Other developments in the regulatory framework for accounting and auditing in Nigeria are also examined. The paper suggests that any response by the profession must be relevant and give due cognisance to the peculiarity of the Nigerian socio‐economic, political and cultural environments. It also suggests that the accounting profession in Nigeria must not rest on its oars, but must constantly remain proactive by keeping abreast of developments in the internal and the external reporting environments and respond appropriately.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Nellie Gertsson, Johanna Sylvander, Pernilla Broberg and Josefine Friberg

The purpose of this paper is to explore why audit assistants leave the audit profession. By including both the perceptions held by audit assistants that left the audit

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore why audit assistants leave the audit profession. By including both the perceptions held by audit assistants that left the audit profession and the perceptions of audit assistants still working in the audit profession, this study aims to explore how determinants of job satisfaction are associated with decisions to leave the audit profession.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore the association between determinants of job satisfaction and decisions to leave, a survey was developed based on a literature review of determinants of job satisfaction. The survey was sent to both current and former Swedish audit assistants. The subsequent analysis was based on 231 complete surveys, of which 78 were from former audit assistants.

Findings

The main finding of this study is that there is a negative association between the choice to leave the profession and audit assistants’ perceptions of the profession and between the choice to leave and work-life balance. Another finding was that met expectations and Big 4 were found to be positively associated with career change.

Originality/value

By approaching both current and former audit assistants, this study contributes to the literature on audit employee turnover by exploring determinants of actual career change, rather than turnover intentions. It also contributes by identifying and testing a variable not previously used as a determinant of job satisfaction, namely, perceptions of the audit profession.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 32 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Naoko Komori

The purpose of this paper is to open up the Anglo‐centred argument in gender and accounting by exploring the relationship of women and accounting in a different social and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to open up the Anglo‐centred argument in gender and accounting by exploring the relationship of women and accounting in a different social and cultural context.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on in‐depth ethnographical studies to explore the real‐ life experiences of 66 Japanese women (9 percent of all women CPAs) who have entered the accounting profession from a range of backgrounds and generations.

Findings

The paper finds that some women accounting professionals in Japan have brought about changes in accounting practice there by applying a uniquely feminine approach in their day‐to‐day work. Their strict approach is attuned to the ongoing globalization in the field of accountancy, and this has helped to widen the opportunities for women.

Research limitations/implications

This paper demonstrates that, in order to understand the issues surrounding gender and accounting, it is important to consider the prevailing social context and its underpinnings. In the Japanese “interdependent” social context, gender is intertwined in the process of accounting to establish its “independent” status.

Practical implications

It has been argued that the unique social and cultural context in Japan will make it difficult for the country to converge its accounting and auditing with global standards. By incorporating a gender perspective, the paper aims to clarify the social assumptions under which accounting and auditing operate in Japan.

Originality/value

By making a close analysis of the process by which Japanese women have entered the accounting profession, the paper reveals the connection between the growing significance of auditing and the changing role and position of women.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2017

Prem W.S. Yapa, Sarath L. Ukwatte Jalathge and Pavithra Siriwardhane

This paper aims to examine the tensions amongst the audit firms operating in Sri Lanka with the introduction of open economic policies in early 1980s and its impact to the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the tensions amongst the audit firms operating in Sri Lanka with the introduction of open economic policies in early 1980s and its impact to the auditing profession.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative approach, this study consists of in-depth interviews, documentary review and critical interpretation supported by the perspectives of globalisation, digitalisation and neo-liberalism.

Findings

The findings indicate that the main reasons for the tension between audit firms (local and international) have been the conflict of interests on the market share. While global pressures on International Standards of Auditing created more opportunities for international audit firms to capture a wider market with the support of the state, the local audit firms apparently lost their market and experienced tension created by staff. Evidence shows the negative impact of globalisation on the open economic policies and the local audit market.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this research will be useful for policymakers in revising auditing practices to ensure healthy corporate governance. Only 25 interviews were conducted; hence, the results may not be a holistic representation of the audit environment in Sri Lanka.

Originality/value

This study is significant, as the business capital has surged into Sri Lankan market as a result of the ongoing international agencies-led economic reforms. Such reforms have emphasised the transparency and accountability.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 32 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2015

Mouna Hazgui and Yves Gendron

The purpose of this paper is to extend research on contemporary forms of oversight surrounding professional work in an era characterized by increased skepticism regarding…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend research on contemporary forms of oversight surrounding professional work in an era characterized by increased skepticism regarding professional claims and the rise of independent regulatory authorities. The authors investigate the interplay between key actors as well as the shifting role boundaries in a distinct regulatory space, following the introduction of a new public oversight framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis draws on the notions of regulatory space and boundary work to better understand the development of independent audit oversight in France. The authors adopted an interpretive approach to conduct a longitudinal case study based on 33 interviews and documentary data produced from 2003 to 2012.

Findings

The study provides a narrative of the boundary work carried out by the French audit profession as it tried to reinvent its role in the new regulatory order. In the case, boundary work engendered a hybrid regulatory pattern, named “co-regulation,” reflecting both the logic of independent regulation and the logic of self-regulation. The main consequence of this is that zones of mutual involvement were constructed – thereby suggesting that to become a reality, independent oversight of professional work needs to accept some operational dependence from professionals.

Originality/value

The study illustrates the elusiveness of boundaries surrounding actors’ role within contemporary forms of professional regulation. More generally, hybrid development suggests that professions are proactive and, to some extent, successful when it comes to developing alliances and manipulating changes within their regulatory space.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2004

Zabihollah Rezaee

The public trust in auditors’ judgments and reputation plays an important role in substantiating audit functions as value‐added services, which lend credibility to…

Abstract

The public trust in auditors’ judgments and reputation plays an important role in substantiating audit functions as value‐added services, which lend credibility to published financial reports. Recent numerous financial restatements by high profile companies coupled with bankruptcies of major companies caused by reported financial statement fraud have eroded public confidence in financial reports and related audit functions. Restoring the public confidence requires considerable efforts by legislators, regulators, standard‐setting bodies, the business community, and the accounting profession. This article suggests 12 ways that the accounting profession can rebuild public trust in financial reports and related audit functions.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1998

Constantinos V. Caramanis

This paper employs a qualitative approach to assess the impact which the “liberalisation” of the Greek auditing profession in 1992 may have had on auditor behaviour. The…

Abstract

This paper employs a qualitative approach to assess the impact which the “liberalisation” of the Greek auditing profession in 1992 may have had on auditor behaviour. The “liberalisation” was introduced by legislation and was the result of a long and intense intra‐professional conflict between a group of indigenous auditors and international accounting firms. Overall, the paper illuminates the deeply political and self‐interested nature of the Greek auditing profession and its socially constructed and contextually dependent character. The results also indicate that following the “liberalisation”, auditors gave significantly less emphasis to functions relating to: being independent; publicly communicating audit findings; protecting the interests of external stakeholders, and presenting “true and fair” financial statements. In contrast, auditors placed significantly more emphasis on providing management advisory services to audit clients. The significant changes in auditor behaviour are linked to the economic dependence of auditors on audited companies which resulted from the audit reform. These findings appear to question the received wisdom underpinning the internationally prevalent move towards privatisation and deregulation of statutory audit services. Finally, the paper has important methodological implications as it demonstrates the limitations of quantitative techniques vis‐à‐vis qualitative approaches to accounting research in politically charged contexts.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Book part
Publication date: 18 July 2017

George Joseph

This paper presents an institutional theory framework integrating normative, regulatory and cognitive-cultural pillars (Scott, 2008) to depict an interinstitutional system…

Abstract

This paper presents an institutional theory framework integrating normative, regulatory and cognitive-cultural pillars (Scott, 2008) to depict an interinstitutional system within which professions operate and develop. The pillars highlight the trade-offs between institutions leading to conflicts of interest that also impact the stability of the system and the ability of the profession to self-regulate. To illustrate the framework, the paper uses selected accounting-based professions and their alignment with the institutional pillars. Drawing from examples emerging from the Enron experience, the paper delves more deeply into the regulatory profession and professionals as agents to explore implications of their role in interpreting and in some instances developing institutions. Further, the paper highlights the potential fissures that emerge in a competitive environment between the public interest and market-based cognitive-cultural pillars that tends to erode public trust and weaken the institutional system, leading to the need for increased regulation to maintain the stability of the pillars. Overall, the framework presents a unique perspective on the role of public interest as a component of the normative pillar in aligning and thereby, stabilizing the functioning of the interinstitutional system. This perspective provides a basis to contextualize and articulate a public interest perspective for the accounting profession in an interinstitutional system.

Details

Parables, Myths and Risks
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-534-4

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