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Stakeholder attitudes towards audit credibility in English local government: A post-audit commission analysis

De Widt, Dennis, Llewelyn, Iolo and Thorogood, Timothy 2020. Stakeholder attitudes towards audit credibility in English local government: A post-audit commission analysis. Financial Accountability and Management 10.1111/faam.12267

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In recent years, substantial changes have been implemented to the audit regimes for local authorities in several countries. Following the abolishment of the Audit Commission, a unique regime for the audit of local authorities has emerged in England, with external audit now fully conducted by private sector audit firms. Auditor appointments for the vast majority of local authorities are now managed by a new organisation, Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited (PSAA). Drawing on the determinants of audit credibility developed by Funnell, Wade and Jupe (2016), this paper examines how local authority stakeholders in the transformed landscape of local public audit in England perceive audit credibility, including the role of PSAA and other audit stakeholders. Findings show that the impact of current arrangements is positively perceived by stakeholders in relation to auditors’ technical competence and independence, at least in the short term, however significant concern is found amongst stakeholders regarding the usefulness of local public audits. Compared to Funnell et al. (2016), we ascribe these differences to the different context of audit in English local government and suggest the relative weighting of determinants of audit credibility are contingent.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0267-4424
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 September 2020
Date of Acceptance: 20 August 2020
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2020 09:23

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