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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1996

Michael J. Pratt and Karen Van Peursem

In A Conceptual Framework for Auditing (Pratt & Van Peursem, 1993) it was argued that audit risk, materiality and judgement are fundamental auditing concepts which should…

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Abstract

In A Conceptual Framework for Auditing (Pratt & Van Peursem, 1993) it was argued that audit risk, materiality and judgement are fundamental auditing concepts which should form a part of any conceptual framework. However, it was identified that the New Zealand Society of Accountants treats these issues as guidelines only; they are not treated as fundamental issues. This paper compares the different positions in respect of audit risk, materiality and judgement that have been adopted by the various professional bodies responsible for auditing standards in English speaking Pacific Rim countries and the United Kingdom. Countries included in the study are: New Zealand, Australia, United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. It is concluded that the tendency in all the standards has been to under‐emphasise these three conceptual issues, despite auditing standards and guideline frameworks that profess interest in broad theoretical issues. As a result, the auditing standards have tended to focus upon procedural ‘how to’ questions rather than more complex questions of ‘why’, or ‘how much’. It is recommended mat the auditing standard setters in all the countries included in this analysis should consider the adoption of a conceptual framework of auditing to better inform the process of standard setting, and to assist the achievement of internal consistency within the standards and guidelines.

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Managerial Finance, vol. 22 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1999

Karen A. Van Peursem

With the aim of shedding light on issues surrounding the development and evaluation of report, this paper offers a theory for facilitating and legitimizing an…

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1400

Abstract

With the aim of shedding light on issues surrounding the development and evaluation of report, this paper offers a theory for facilitating and legitimizing an accountability‐based discourse and disclosure in the public health sector. The project adopts Laughlin’s (1995) vision of middle range theory and an accountability perspective to justify the form and normative perspective which shapes the skeletal model to follow. Formulated in part from an analysis of the health management and public sector accounting literatures, the model is now empirically supported from the preferences of health sector accountees in New Zealand. The result is a conceptual construct which is both considerate of and challenging to the standard financial accounting model. The skeletal model consists of five conceptual categories, their interrelationships and properties. The theoretical model considers and mandates illumination of political incentives, incorporates the assumption that accounting can be constitutive as well as reflective and is sympathetic to a wide range of interests and contextual distinctions.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 17 October 2016

Abraham Hauriasi, Karen Van-Peursem and Howard Davey

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate ethnic identities emerging from the budgetary processes of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (COM) – the Solomon Islands.

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1059

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate ethnic identities emerging from the budgetary processes of the Anglican Church of Melanesia (COM) – the Solomon Islands.

Design/methodology/approach

An interpretive and case-based methodology is employed. Fieldwork consists of 27 interviews, document analysis and lived-observations. Ethnic identity and concepts of the indigenous culture inform the analysis.

Findings

Findings demonstrate how Church-led practices merge with indigenous processes and how, together, members negotiate their way through this complex budgeting process. A broadened network and community (wantok) is revealed, and through a sympathetic melding of Melanesian and Church tradition, a new ethnic-identity emerges. Issues of parishioners’ isolation, women’s roles and central accountability are not, as yet, fully integrated into this emerging identity.

Research limitations/implications

There may be value in prioritising “people” over “timelines”, “discussion” over “deadlines” and in respecting local traditions in order to nurture the foundation for new identities. Also, and as evidenced, “nationhood” should not be assumed to be a powerful force in defining ethnic identity.

Practical implications

The value of respecting the complex interaction between tribal tradition and Church values by those in power is revealed.

Social implications

“Ethnic identity” is revealed as a complex notion in the Solomon Islands Anglican COM.

Originality/value

A long-isolated culture’s construction of self-identity in the context of the COM is revealed.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2008

Karen Van Peursem and Lehan Jiang

This study seeks to examine practices in, and rationales for, internal audit outsourcing in New Zealand (NZ) companies. The purpose is to assess whether practice and…

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3554

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to examine practices in, and rationales for, internal audit outsourcing in New Zealand (NZ) companies. The purpose is to assess whether practice and preference conform to expectations where small‐to‐medium businesses dominate.

Design/methodology/approach

Senior financial managers of all 165 NZ Stock Exchange listed companies are surveyed. Questions are drawn from the strategic management and auditing literature. Relationships between size, international association and industry are tested or revealed from descriptive statistics and qualitative analyses. Comparisons to overseas studies, where possible, are drawn.

Findings

Of 63 usable responses (38.2 per cent response rate), a comparatively low 57 per cent carry out some form of internal audit and a further 27 per cent claim interest in doing so. International companies are more likely to engage in internal audit, and preliminary findings point to less interest within consumer and equity/trust industries. As to outsourcers, 65 per cent (11) only began doing so recently, Big4 accounting firms are a major source, access to quality is an important reason and most 82 per cent (14 of 17) are aware of independence issues. Conclusions analyse legislative incentive patterns found and suggest further research.

Originality/value

Recent scandals and legislation in the USA, UK and Australia highlight the importance of the internal audit function to industry. This study looks at practices in and rationales for internal audit outsourcing found within the NZ corporate sector.

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Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2012

Harun Harun, Karen Van Peursem and Ian Eggleton

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the institutionalization of an accrual accounting system in the Indonesian public sector.

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3692

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the institutionalization of an accrual accounting system in the Indonesian public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors undertake a case study to gain insights relating to the critical features of the institutionalization process of the accrual accounting system (AAS) in one Indonesian public sector municipality. The data are drawn from official documents of the Indonesian Government and from publicly available information about the accrual adoption processes. The authors also interviewed key actors who were involved in the accrual accounting policy formulation, standards development and implementation. The data under investigation cover the period from 1983 to 2010.

Findings

The IPM of Dambrin, Lambert and Sponem is employed to evaluate the process by which an AAS was idealized, standardized, implemented and used in one Indonesian municipality. Scott's pillars of legitimization also inform rationales behind practice. This study reveals how the decision of the Indonesian Government to adopt accrual accounting in 2003 was part of greater political and economic reforms following the financial and political crisis that occurred in 1998. Idealized in the early 1980s by technocrats in the Ministry of Finance, accrual accounting practices were deferred and then enabled by a series of national political events. Their ultimate internalization into our municipality was led by new legislation but also influenced by the habits and histories of the Indonesian local context and was as a result decoupled in many respects from ideals, discourses and techniques established for it.

Research limitations/implications

The findings should be understood in the economic, social and historical context of Indonesia. Findings offered here may differ from other applications due to the nature of the economic, social and political contexts.

Originality/value

Uniquely employing the IPM model, and drawing from a context which has undergone significant political change but which has benefitted from little research, this study contributes to an understanding of the institutionalization and legitimization process of an accrual accounting system in an emerging‐economy public sector. Findings demonstrate how notions of politics and power inform the complexity of institutionalization in this unique political‐economic environment.

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

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2015

Harun Harun, Karen Van-Peursem and Ian R.C Eggleton

Drawing from an interest in the changing Indonesian political and regulatory history, the purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the role that accounting…

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4214

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing from an interest in the changing Indonesian political and regulatory history, the purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the role that accounting reform can play in nurturing, or failing to nurture, a more dialogic form of accounting in a local Indonesian municipality.

Design/methodology/approach

To collect the data, the authors undertook a case study of a local municipality and drew from patterns found in Indonesia’s long colonial history. Data were acquired from official and publicly available documents and interviews with 29 key figures, including those involved in formulating and disseminating laws and also those affected by the accounting reforms from 1998 to 2009. Document collection and interviews were conducted at national and local levels.

Findings

This study shows that Indonesia has undertaken significant economic and political reforms for the intended purposes of fostering democracy, strengthening accountability, and creating transparency in relation to public sector practices. As part of these reforms, accrual accounting is now mandatory, independent audit is conducted, and disclosure is required by Government offices at central and local levels. Nonetheless, drawing from dialogic accounting principles, this study demonstrates the limitations of legislation and regulation in countering patterns that have long been laid down in history. Essentially, there is limited opportunity to question the elements of these reforms, and the study has also found that centralizing forces remain to serve vested interests. The root of the problem may lie in traditions of central control which have played out in how a dialogic form of accounting has failed to emerge from these important accounting reforms.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study should be understood from historical, political, and cultural backgrounds of the site of the study.

Practical implications

The implications of the findings should be taken into account by public sector policy makers, particularly in emerging economies – where political realities, economic, social, political, and cultural backgrounds set different historical patterns and result in unique circumstances that may tend to retain traditions of the past even under rules and regulations of the present.

Originality/value

A key contribution of this study is to show how the political traditions of a nation can permeate and divert the intent of, in this case, engaging a broader public in discourse about accounting reform in the public sector. In addition, this study also provides an understanding of public sector reform in the context of a diverse and unsettled nation which has been long subject to colonial, top-led, and military leadership. The findings demonstrate complexities and unintended outcomes that can emerge in public sector accounting reform and how, in this case, they appear to be influenced by historical traditions of centralized control.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Karen Van Peursem

In this study, internal auditors are asked to come to a view on whether functions they perform in connection with internal audit engagements are essential, and to what…

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3521

Abstract

In this study, internal auditors are asked to come to a view on whether functions they perform in connection with internal audit engagements are essential, and to what degree. Inspired by Burns, Greenspan and Hartwell’s concept of the true professional, there is an underlying interest in determining whether, and under what circumstances, internal auditors’ enjoy the authority over and independence from management that we might expect of a professional. The findings emerge from a survey of New Zealand auditors, all of whom are IIA branch members. A 73 per cent response rate is achieved over the original and follow‐up survey. A factor analysis identifies converging issues, and t‐tests isolate responses by employment status, disciplinary background, experience, and audit charter existence. The findings suggest that characteristics of a “true” profession exist but do not dominate. Significantly, and as subgroups, public practice and experienced auditors may enjoy greater influence over management, and accountancy‐trained auditors may enjoy greater status owing to the “mystique” of their activities. Comments from the internal auditors shed further light on these results. Conclusions point to further avenues for research.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 September 2008

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550

Abstract

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Abstract

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Elmar Retief Venter and Charl de Villiers

– This paper aims to examine the influence of academics who are members of the profession on academic institutions.

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2162

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the influence of academics who are members of the profession on academic institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

An analytic autoethnography of the influence of accounting academics who are members of the profession on South African universities, supported by publicly available information, such as policy and other documents, web sites, and published material; documentation the authors are able to gather as participants; and formal and informal interviews the authors conduct with academic managers.

Findings

The paper finds that profession-identifying academics create and maintain rules and structures within academe, rules and structures that suit the profession. Managers who are members of the profession identify more closely with the profession than with their university. The analysis reveals the mechanics of this influence, as well as the consequences.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to theory by synthesizing the creation of profession-inspired institutions framework and the maintenance of an institutions framework into a single framework. It also applies the theory by providing an example of a profession creating and maintaining institutionalization in an adjacent institution. The findings have implications for academia in cases where academic staff members are members of professional bodies, such as engineering and law faculties. The insights highlighted here may also be of interest to Australasian, UK and US accounting academics, because the literature contains evidence of pressures from professional bodies there.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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