Power, Michael

born 1957 A British academic, author, and auditing specialist. A professor of accounting at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Power is best known for his book The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification (1997), in which he popularized the controversial concept of the *audit society. Power’s thoughts on the audit society were adumbrated in some of his earlier writings, including the 1994 monograph The Audit Explosion, and have been refined in his subsequent writings (Power, 2000). Power is an articulate critic of received ideas of the practice and theory of auditing, and his arguments owe something to the *critical accounting movement. He has drawn attention to the theoretical uncertainties of auditing, referring to the discipline’s "essentially elusive epistemological character" (Power, 1997, 11), and has claimed that "there is no robust conception of ’good’ auditing independent either of auditor judgements or of the system of knowledge in which those judgements are embedded and against which particular audits could be judged" (Power, 1997, 29). He has also claimed that "a certain proceduralization of the audit process acts as compensation for its essential obscurity" (1997, 81), thereby casting doubt on the "official" explanations of auditing promoted by *professional associations. Clearly, such arguments are controversial, and there is an entire literature devoted to analyzing, criticizing, and defending Power’s arguments. His other areas of interest include financial regulation, *risk management, and the links between science and accounting. Further reading: Power (1994a); Power (1994b); Power (1994c); Power (1997); Power (2000); Power (2003)

Auditor's dictionary. 2014.

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