The audit trinity: the key to securing corporate accountability
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to distinguish between corporate accountability and corporate governance, explore the development of corporate accountability and examine the role of the tripartite audit function in securing this accountability. Design/methodology/approach – A normative approach has been adopted and the research is based, primarily, on an examination of relevant literature. Findings – Society facilities the growth of economic entities by providing them with resources. As their command over resources increases, these entities gain significant economic, social and political power and accountability is demanded of their managers as a check on possible abuse of this power. Historically, as companies have increased their power in society, those to whom and that for which their managers are held accountable have been extended. Today, the managers of large public companies are considered to be accountable to society as a whole for a wide range of corporate activities. The discharge of corporate accountability traditionally relied on the preparation and audit of accountability reports (financial statements). However, from the 1990s, responding to the increasing severity of the impact on society of unexpected corporate failures – and continued failures – responsible corporate governance was added as an accountability requirement. Further, as the activities for which companies are accountable have been extended (paralleling the growth of their “power” in society), so corporate responsibility information has featured as an element in their accountability reports. As these changes have occurred, the importance of the tripartite audit function in securing corporate accountability has come to be recognised and its members – the company's external and internal auditors and its audit committee – have become increasingly multi-disciplinary in nature. Originality/value – The paper explores the questions of why corporate accountability arises and how it is discharged. It explains the relationship between corporate governance and accountability and the role of the audit function in securing corporate accountability. It also provides insights into changes occurring in the audit function and how these might develop.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 24 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com|
|Order Information:|| Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK|
Web: http://emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/journals.htm?id=maj Email:
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808, July.
- Mathews, M. R., 1984. "A suggested classification for social accounting research," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 199-221.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:majpps:v:24:y:2009:i:2:p:156-182. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Lister)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.