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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

SangHoo Bae and Inshik Seol

This study investigates the relationship between environmental audit programs and various organizational characteristics in S&P 500 companies.

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1142

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the relationship between environmental audit programs and various organizational characteristics in S&P 500 companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study are derived from two different sources. First, environmental audit related data were obtained from the corporate environmental profiles database (CEPD) which is published by the Investor Research Responsibility Center (IRRC). All firms who responded to the survey between 1998 and 2003 were included for the study. In total, 192 firms responded during this time period. Second, other firm specific and industry data were obtained from research insight (i.e. COMPUSTAT) database, which is published by Standard and Poor's.

Findings

The results show that an increasing number of companies are adopting environmental audit programs and industry‐specific factors affect an organization's decision to adopt environmental audit programs.

Research limitations/implications

Since the paper relies on the survey data, one of the limitations of the study is possible self‐selection bias in the sample. Caution is needed before the results may be generalized. One promising area of future research is to investigate the relationship between the firm‐specific characteristics identified in this study and the performance (both financial and non‐financial) of the organization.

Practical implications

The results of the study can provide useful information to organizations that are planning to implement environmental auditing program.

Originality/value

The study is one the first for investigating the characteristics between companies with environmental audit programs and those who do not using an entire set of S&P 500 firms. Even though there have been some studies regarding environmental auditing, few have investigated the entire population of S&P 500 companies.

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Management Research News, vol. 29 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Richard Welford

Environmental auditing is becoming increasingly important for businesswho wish to demonstrate their corporate responsibility and commitment toenvironmental improvement. It…

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3142

Abstract

Environmental auditing is becoming increasingly important for business who wish to demonstrate their corporate responsibility and commitment to environmental improvement. It offers a methodology to evaluate the environmental performance of companies and is likely to become increasingly widespread as more and more environmental regulations and codes of practice have to be adhered to in industry. Outlines the benefits of environmental auditing and offers a methodology for undertaking the audit procedure. Examines the aims and objectives of the audit process, analyses incentives to undertake the audit and maps out the practice of implementing the audit. In an analysis of the EU Euro Eco‐management and Audit Scheme, shows how this scheme will increase the attractiveness of environmental auditing to companies who wish to be recognized as leaders in the field.

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Environmental Management and Health, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-6163

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1993

Janet L. Colbert and Craig Scarbrough

Auditors are now concerned with environmental issues as some transactions may lead to loss contingencies which must be disclosed in financial statements. Reviews…

Abstract

Auditors are now concerned with environmental issues as some transactions may lead to loss contingencies which must be disclosed in financial statements. Reviews accounting principles concerning such contingencies and discusses auditing standards with regard to illegal acts, environmental specialists and reportable conditions. Refers to statements on auditing standards (SAS) concerning the client representation letter, lawyer's letter, going concern, audit report and communication with audit committee.

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Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 8 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Xiting Wu, Qun CAO, Xiaoping Tan and Liang Li

This paper aims to examine the relationship between the audit of outgoing leading officials' natural resource accountability and environmental governance, as well as the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the relationship between the audit of outgoing leading officials' natural resource accountability and environmental governance, as well as the internal mechanism of audit of outgoing leading officials' natural resource accountability that plays a role in national environmental governance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on city-level panel data from 2012 to 2015, this paper adopts a difference-in-difference model to examine the role of government audit in national governance from an environmental perspective. Furthermore, using a mediating effect model, the study sheds light on the internal mechanism of audit of outgoing leading officials’ natural resource accountability that plays a role in national environmental governance.

Findings

This paper finds that: the implementation of the audit of outgoing leading officials’ natural resource accountability has significantly improved the water quality of the pilot area, but its effects on waste gas and smoke are not obvious; environmental supervision partly plays a mediating role in the improvement of regional environmental governance by the audit of outgoing leading officials’ natural resource accountability; the audit of outgoing leading officials’ natural resource accountability can complement the incentive mechanism of promotion. The older the local officials are, the more obvious the effect of the audit of outgoing leading officials’ natural resource accountability on the environmental quality of the pilot areas is.

Originality/value

This paper reveals the role of government audit from the perspective of environmental governance. It provides empirical evidence for policy regarding the audit of outgoing leading officials' natural resource accountability.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 35 no. 9
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…

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1299

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: 1 October 2001

Dennis W. Taylor, Maliah Sulaiman and Michael Sheahan

Provides findings from a survey of environmental management systems (EMS) auditors at ISO14001‐certified sites of Australian enterprises. Taking a legitimacy theory…

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5600

Abstract

Provides findings from a survey of environmental management systems (EMS) auditors at ISO 14001‐certified sites of Australian enterprises. Taking a legitimacy theory perspective, this study investigates the way in which enterprises with certified sites are meeting their implied social contract with stakeholders (also termed “relevant publics”) on environmental conduct. Investigates whether EMSs, and related environmental audit functions, are being treated as quality assurance tools for the betterment of environmental performance, or as impositions to be complied with so as to maintain the credential of ISO 14001 certification per se. Seeks to throw light on this legitimacy theory issue by providing evidence about management’s motivation behind, and strength of support for, the EMS auditing function at ISO 14001‐certified sites. Obtains evidence about the objectives for the EMS auditing function, the resources committed to it and the perceived benefits arising from meeting the requirements for certification. Results point consistently to the conclusion that management have emphasised having enough compliance to maintain their site’s ISO 14001 certification credential.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 16 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2010

Christina Chiang and Deryl Northcott

This paper seeks to examine the responses of New Zealand auditors to the promulgation of Audit Guidance Statement (AGS) 1010: The Consideration of Environmental Matters in

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1187

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to examine the responses of New Zealand auditors to the promulgation of Audit Guidance Statement (AGS) 1010: The Consideration of Environmental Matters in the Audit of Financial Statements and the consequent impact on audit practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts an interpretive methodology. It draws on dual research methods – interviews with 27 senior auditors, and a critical analysis of AGS‐1010. Legitimacy theory informs the interpretation of the findings.

Findings

The findings point to significant gaps in the guidance AGS‐1010 provides and reveal its limited impact on practice, which seems to reflect “business as usual” in regard to the audit of environmental matters. However, AGS‐1010 does appear to serve a ceremonial, legitimating role by supporting practising auditors' efforts to appear responsive to concerns about this emergent accountability issue.

Research limitations/implications

The findings highlight the practical challenges that exist in the audit of environmental matters, and point to the need to scrutinise the role of auditors in providing opinions on the financial reports of firms whose activities give rise to material environmental matters.

Practical implications

The findings suggest points for reflection for a profession that relies on maintaining its societal legitimacy, but which is failing to pursue or achieve best practice in the audit of environmental matters.

Originality/value

This paper presents a novel critique of AGS‐1010 and a first examination of how New Zealand auditors are dealing with environmental matters in light of this professional promulgation. The findings contribute to the international literature by exploring the relatively neglected role of the auditor in advancing the “greening of accounting”.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2006

Kuang‐Hsun Shih, Hsueh‐Ju Chen and Jason C.H. Chen

To examine whether there are differences with respect to internal auditors' attitude toward environmental protection, cognizance of environmental auditing and environmental

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2594

Abstract

Purpose

To examine whether there are differences with respect to internal auditors' attitude toward environmental protection, cognizance of environmental auditing and environmental knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey based research method is used and a Mann‐Whitney U‐test as well as a T‐test is applied on this data.

Findings

There is no difference between internal auditors in the manufacturing industry and those in the service industry with respect to environmental awareness and cognizance of environmental auditing. Yet there is a significant difference with respect to knowledge of environmental protection.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to that of internal auditors' perspectives.

Practical implications

Internal auditors are the “watch dogs” for firms to implement environmental management so that strengthening their environmental knowledge is required.

Originality/value

This study reveals internal auditors' perception toward environmental management in both high‐ and low‐pollution industries that go beyond green auditing issues.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 106 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Shuchi Pahuja

To obtain opinions of Chartered Accountants (CAs) on the need for verifying environmental statements produced by a concern and desired status and qualifications of experts…

Abstract

Purpose

To obtain opinions of Chartered Accountants (CAs) on the need for verifying environmental statements produced by a concern and desired status and qualifications of experts doing such an audit. To examine EIA systems of large manufacturing companies operating in India.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data collected by using two structured questionnaires: the first one to obtain opinions of CAs and the second one to examine EIA practices followed by the selected companies.

Findings

The users think that companies should produce duly verified environmental reports to increase credibility of these reports. They prefer appointment of a team of external duly qualified environmental auditors for this purpose. Majority of the sample companies prepare only statutorily required environmental statements. Most of these companies claim that they provide audited information in these statements verified generally by external environmental auditors.

Research limitations/implications

Some of the respondents gave incomplete answers for not disclosing their organizational policies because of perceived sensitive nature of environmental issues. Non‐manufacturing and small companies not included in the sample.

Practical implications

Make EIA mandatory at least in major polluting industries. An urgent need to develop standards covering the scope and limitations of third party EIAs was realised. Companies should also voluntarily try to provide audited environmental information in the annual reports to build credibility and trust among corporate stakeholders.

Originality/value

The paper presents empirical evidence from interviews with CAs and executives from the selected companies in India and provides insight into the need for EIA.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2009

Nacanieli Rika

This paper seeks to discuss the motivation for commencement of environmental auditing within the Fiji Office of the Auditor‐General (OAG). It also aims to analyse the…

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3141

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to discuss the motivation for commencement of environmental auditing within the Fiji Office of the Auditor‐General (OAG). It also aims to analyse the actual topics audited between 2005 and 2007 and the standards employed in those audits.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach is employed, involving document analysis and semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

Environmental auditing in Fiji's public sector can be explained in terms of institutional isomorphism: coercive, through pressure from the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) and United Nations (UN); mimetic, in relation to adoption of best practice within INTOSAI; and normative, through communication and professional training provided by INTOSAI. There is also evidence of decoupling; although government has ratified Millennium Development Goal 7 on environmental sustainability, it has failed to allocate adequate resources to the relevant departments.

Research limitations/implications

Since audit reports were not publicly available, it was not possible to review audit opinions and the main audit findings. Nor was it possible to conduct follow‐up interviews with audit clients.

Practical implications

Sufficient financial and human resources must be devoted to environmental management and auditing. Accountants must be involved in the initial development of Environmental Management Systems (EMS). This recognises the particular skills which they possess and facilitates the subsequent audit of systems.

Originality/value

The current research examines the adoption of environmental auditing in the public sector and finds that it can be explained using institutional theory. Accounting practices in a small developing country are strongly influenced by global networks.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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