Sikka, Prem Nath

born 1951 A British academic, and specialist in auditing and accounting. Founding joint-editor of the *critical accounting journal *Accountancy, Business, and the Public Interest, Sikka is Professor of Accounting at the University of Essex in England. He is a trustee of the *Association for Accountancy and Business Affairs, a reformist forum for the critical analysis of auditing and accounting practices. Sikka has contributed significantly to the critical accounting movement in the United Kingdom, with a large body of writing that includes monographs, articles, and journalism. Sikka is a fearless critic of the external auditing profession, claiming that it is "pre-occupied with fees and client appeasement" (Cousins et al., 1998, 9), and he has memorably referred to the large external auditing firms as "emperors of darkness" (Dunn and Sikka, 1999, 4). He is noted for his challenges to received or "official" notions of external auditing theory. For example, "The social practice of ‘audit’ does not have a single unambiguous meaning but, rather, numerous competing meanings that exist side by side. Contrary to the profession’s preferences, the meaning of audit has been associated with fraud detection, warning of impending bankruptcy, guaranteeing the accuracy of information and financial soundness, etc. This is not to say that ‘audit’ is meaningless, but, rather, that its meaning is contingent and negotiable: its fixing within relations of power is precarious and subject to redefinition" (Sikka et al., 1998, 299-304). Further reading: Cousins et al. (1998); Dunn and Sikka (1999); Mitchell and Sikka (2002); Mitchell et al. (1991); Mitchell et al. (1998); Sikka and Willmott (1997); Sikka et al. (1998) Web link:

Auditor's dictionary. 2014.

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