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Article

Dietmar Weihrich

This paper aims to provide knowledge concerning performance auditing by examining the implementation in Germany. The text shows how the principles of performance auditing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide knowledge concerning performance auditing by examining the implementation in Germany. The text shows how the principles of performance auditing are implemented in Germany. The German approach is special because the international standards are not implemented in Germany, and there are neither any existing scientific studies nor any other literature concerning performance audit in Germany.

Design/methodology/approach

The study comprises a general discussion of the goals and boundaries of performance auditing with an environmental perspective based on a literature study. The text also describes the theoretical, legal and methodological background of performance audits in Germany. Findings concerning the status quo of performance auditing in Germany are based on an analysis of audits conducted by public audit institutions. The findings were compared with findings from other current international studies.

Findings

The sample of scrutinized audits conducted by the public audit institutions shows clearly that the provisions of the German Federal Budget Code had been fully implemented. In nearly every study, implications of economy, efficiency and effectiveness have been considered. Hence, even without any references to the international standards, the core principles of performance audit are considered in the audits conducted by the public audit institutions in Germany. The main focus in the audits had been placed on the efficiency and effectiveness. It is also very remarkable how far-reaching the findings of the audits in Germany are. Especially, in terms of scrutinized subsidy directives, the public audit institutions are not reducing their recommendations to the implementation of the granting-process but to the directives itself.

Research limitations/implications

The paper highlights a sample of studies which is limited in terms of quantity because it focused on audits related to environmental protection.

Practical implications

The study provides knowledge on how audits are conducted by public audit institutions in Germany. In doing so, it is particularly helpful for people dealing with public audits, especially in the government and the audit institutions.

Social implications

The paper examines the role of public audit institutions that contribute to a more efficient and an effective deployment of public expenditures. The goal is to avoid wasting public means by using it without causing positive effects. This is the basis for a socially just usage of public means.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a better understanding of performance auditing in general. As there are no documented scientific studies or other papers concerning the implementation of performance audit in Germany, the paper is of high-innovatory value. The findings are very important to the further development of performance audit. In addition, by depicting the role of public audit institutions in Germany, it allows comparisons to the situation in other countries.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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