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The construction of auditability: MBA rankings and assurance in practice

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  • Free, Clinton
  • Salterio, Steven E.
  • Shearer, Teri

Abstract

For much of the past decade, the audit profession has been enjoined to enter new and novel fields of assurance services. This call implies the importation of constructs from traditional attest financial audits into new domains to provide elevated levels of assurance for information-users and decision-makers. Little is presently known about the process by which audit scope, practices and communications about the work done are developed in these new fields. This paper attempts to shed light on these issues through an in-depth field study of KPMG's "audit" of the Financial Times MBA rankings. The audit project is argued to import legitimacy to data provided by International Business Schools as well as imbue a derived legitimacy to the Financial Times rankings. At an operational level, audit planning, procedures and communicated written conclusions emerge as a much more negotiated and adaptive practice than rhetoric might suggest.

Suggested Citation

  • Free, Clinton & Salterio, Steven E. & Shearer, Teri, 2009. "The construction of auditability: MBA rankings and assurance in practice," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 119-140, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:aosoci:v:34:y:2009:i:1:p:119-140
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cannizzaro, Anthony P. & Weiner, Robert J., 2015. "Multinational investment and voluntary disclosure: Project-level evidence from the petroleum industry," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 32-47.
    2. Mia Kaspersen & Thomas Riise Johansen, 2016. "Changing Social and Environmental Reporting Systems," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(4), pages 731-749, June.
    3. Michal Bobek, 2015. "Assurance Services - Concept and Standardization," Český finanční a účetní časopis, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2015(2), pages 23-57.
    4. O'Dwyer, Brendan & Owen, David & Unerman, Jeffrey, 2011. "Seeking legitimacy for new assurance forms: The case of assurance on sustainability reporting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 31-52, January.
    5. Gustavo Alberto Ruiz Rojas, 2016. "Retórica y contabilidad: de la crítica retórica a la retórica crítica," REVISTA FACULTAD DE CIENCIAS ECONÓMICAS, UNIVERSIDAD MILITAR NUEVA GRANADA, vol. 25(1), pages 243-270, December.
    6. Mehrpouya, Afshin & Samiolo, Rita, 2016. "Performance measurement in global governance: Ranking and the politics of variability," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 12-31.
    7. Orlikowski, Wanda J. & Scott, Susan V., 2014. "What happens when evaluation goes online? exploring apparatuses of valuation in the travel sector," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57602, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Andon, Paul & Free, Clinton, 2012. "Auditing and crisis management: The 2010 Melbourne Storm salary cap scandal," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 131-154.
    9. Pollock, Neil & D’Adderio, Luciana, 2012. "Give me a two-by-two matrix and I will create the market: Rankings, graphic visualisations and sociomateriality," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 565-586.
    10. Power, Michael, 2015. "How accounting begins: Object formation and the accretion of infrastructure," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 43-55.
    11. Jeacle, Ingrid & Carter, Chris, 2011. "In TripAdvisor we trust: Rankings, calculative regimes and abstract systems," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 293-309.

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