The auditor's responsibility and independence are crucial issues underlying the independent auditing function and has significant implications on the development of auditing standards and practices. Through a questionnaire survey, this study investigated auditor's responsibility and independence from the perspectives of audit beneficiaries and public practitioners in the People's Republic of China. The results reveal that the role and benefits of public accounting (independent auditing) have been positively recognized by Chinese audit beneficiaries and auditors, and there are increasing demands for expanding the applicability of public accounting in China. However this study obtained substantial evidence on the emergence of the "expectation gap" in China, with respect to audit objectives, auditor's obligation to detect and report fraud, and third party liability of auditors. In addition, the study found that the majority of audit beneficiaries and auditors are supportive of improving auditor independence by reducing governmental control or intervention and moving towards "self-regulation" of the profession. The causes and practical implications of the study findings are therefore analyzed contextual to the existing practices of public accounting in the changing Chinese social and economic conditions. This study should cast light on understanding of the institutional settings and updated development of independent audits in China and may also serve as an annotation to the recent accounting reform debates in the Western world.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Sociology and Political Science