audit society

A term coined by *Michael Power to denote allegedly pervasive and negative influences of auditing practices in modern life. Power has elaborated the concept in, among other writings, The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification (1997), and has offered further reflections in the essay "The audit society - second thoughts" (Power, 2000). The notion of the audit society has links to the polemical theories of the *critical accounting movement, and it is notable for disputing "official" justifications of the utility of auditing practices offered by the discipline’s *professional associations. The concept of the audit society is complex and multifaceted, and only a handful of characteristics are summarized here. Michael Power casts doubt on the theoretical validity of standard auditing philosophies, suggesting that auditing is more a social construct rather than a scientific practice: "Auditability cannot be defined; it is negotiated" (1997, 81). He is also suspicious of many of the claims made of the utility of auditing, like the Operational auditing notion of the *Three E’s of economy, efficiency, and effectiveness. He suggests instead that auditing is often more parasitical than useful: The "audit society is a symptom of the times, coincidentally a fin de siecle, in which a gulf has opened up between poorly rewarded ‘doing’ and highly rewarded ‘observing"‘ (1997, 147). Power also claims that auditing fails frequently to live up to its own promises, descending instead into a hollow, self-serving activity of limited value to organizations: "At worst auditing tends to become an organizational ritual, a dramaturgical performance" (1997,141). He also interprets the expansion of auditing as an indication of institutional and cultural decline, writing that the audit society "can be understood as a label for a loss of confidence in the central steering institutions of society, particularly politics. So it may be that a loss of faith in intellectual, political and economic leadership has led to the creation of industries of checking which satisfy a demand for signals of order" (2000, 188). Power’s depiction of the audit society is an articulate challenge to conventional wisdom of the utility of auditing, and it has been debated in great detail in the academic auditing literature. A special issue of the * International Journal of Auditing (Vol. 4, No. 1, 2000) was devoted to its analysis. For many, Power’s arguments explain some of the roots of external auditing’s *expectations gap. Further reading: Power (1994b); Power (1994c); Power (1997); Power (2000)

Auditor's dictionary. 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • audit — An independent review of an asset, liability, activity, organization, or set of *financial statements. Audits are usually performed to support or refute defined *audit objectives, and normally result in an *audit opinion on the matter under… …   Auditor's dictionary

  • Audit (disambiguation) — Audit may refer to:*Audit an evaluation of an organization, system, process, project or product * Auditor of a Student Society, especially in Ireland, having a similar etymology. *Academic audit the completion of a course of study for which no… …   Wikipedia

  • Society for the Promotion of Community Standards — The Society for the Promotion of Community Standards (SPCS) is a conservative Christian dominated pro censorship organisation in New Zealand. The Society s objectives include the encouragement of self respect and the dignity of the human person,… …   Wikipedia

  • Society for Women's Health Research — The Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) is a non profit organization in the United States whose mission is to improve the health of all women through research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1990, SWHR brought to national attention the …   Wikipedia

  • University of Victoria Students' Society — Infobox Canadian Student Association name = University of Victoria Students Society motto = established = 1963 institution = University of Victoria location = Victoria, British Columbia members = 18,000 affiliated = CFS homepage =… …   Wikipedia

  • Court of Audit of the Republic of Slovenia — Headquarters Ljubljana, Slovenia Area served Slovenia Key people dr. Igor Šoltes (President) Emp …   Wikipedia

  • Internet Society — The Internet Society or ISOC is an international, nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to provide leadership in Internet related standards, education, and policy. It states that its mission is to assure the open development, evolution and use… …   Wikipedia

  • Classification society — A classification society is a non governmental organization that establishes and maintains technical standards for the construction and operation of ships and offshore structures. The society will also validate that construction is according to… …   Wikipedia

  • Michigan Humane Society — The Michigan Humane Society (MHS) is a private, non profit organization providing animal welfare and sheltering services to the metropolitan Detroit area. Events at the Michigan Humane Society are featured in the Animal Planet channel s reality… …   Wikipedia

  • The American Society for Cell Biology — (ASCB) is a non profit organization whose purpose is to promote and develop the field of cell biology. Founded in 1960, the society currently has grown to serve more than 11,000 members. Publications Publications include:* Molecular Biology of… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.