Role of Public Auditors in Fraud Detection – A Critical Review'

Kassem, Rasha and Turksen, Umut (2021). Role of Public Auditors in Fraud Detection – A Critical Review'. In: Grima, Simon and Boztepe, Engin eds. Contemporary Issues in Public Sector Accounting and Auditing, Volume 105. Emerald Publishing Limited.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/S1569-375920200000105004

URL: https://www.emerald.com/insight/publication/doi/10...

Abstract

The need for independent audit goes back to the agency theory, the theory of delegation of power and the issue of trust. Stakeholders delegate power to management to manage the business on their behalf, yet they face the risk of information asymmetry and management motivations to commit fraud. The main aim of having an independent auditor was therefore to reduce the risk of information asymmetry and fraudulent behaviour by management. Auditors are required by the International Auditing Standards to detect material fraud and error, and they are expected to have a duty of care for stakeholders. However, recently independent auditors, whether conducting private or public audit, have been scrutinised for failing to detect material fraud. There have been a lot of discussions in the literature about the role of private auditors in detecting fraud, but very little discussions about the role of public auditors in detecting fraud. This chapter will outline the difference between private audit and public audit; explain the legal liability of public auditors in relation to fraud detection; the role of public auditors in detecting fraud; and will critically review the root causes for auditors’ failure to detect fraud.

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