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The auditors' reporting duty on internal control: the case of building societies, 1956-1960

Masayoshi Noguchi and Bernardo Batiz-Lazo

Accounting History Review, 2010, vol. 20, issue 1, pages 41-66

Abstract: In this article, informed by corporatist theory, we explore the transition from 'fraud detection' to 'statement verification' (Chandler, Edwards, and Anderson 1993, 452) in terms of the audit objectives of building societies in the late 1950s. The study proceeds by analysing negotiations between the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and state authorities, such as the Treasury, the Chief Registrar of Friendly Societies and the Board of Trade. These discussions eventually resulted in a change in the audit procedure applied to building societies (as documented in the Building Societies Act 1960). We show how the regulatory change allowed chartered accountants to discontinue outmoded practices under which auditors rather than directors had been expected to take responsibility for safeguarding the financial assets of building societies. Regulatory changes also resulted in auditors being required to assume a new duty; namely, to report on the system of internal control.

Keywords: building societies; corporatism; auditors' duties; internal control; Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales; the Treasury; Building Societies Act 1960 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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