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The Role of External Auditors in Accounting - Essay Example

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Pertaining to the profession of auditors, auditors’ liability has always been one of the main concerns of the public. Often dealt with common law, tort law or both, auditors’ liability could arise out of unfair or unjust practices when it comes to auditing a company’s financial standing…
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The Role of External Auditors in Accounting
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Download file to see previous pages To prevent moral hazards associated with the auditors’ liability, the British Serious Fraud Office has imposed heavy penalities for swindlers and white collar criminals to shut down or suspend a suspicious business. On the other hand, auditors who are found guilty of professional negligence may end up facing a monetary loss or penalty through punitive fines and/or the confiscation of their license to practice auditing in the United Kingdom. As stated by Michael Power of London School of Economics, “it may not be reasonable to expect that auditors would be challenging business models directly and raising strategic issues with finance directors, that is not their job and if we want it to be their job then things would have to change quite substantially. The direction of my comment is that we might be expecting too much from this black box [External Audit] in terms of what it actually delivers”.
Based on the individual roles and responsibilities of shareholders, internal and external auditors, the board of directors, and the CEO, this report will explain the limits in the role and responsibilities of external auditors when it comes to detecting and controlling fraud activities in business. Role and Responsibilities of External Auditors External auditors are professionals who are hired to conduct audit based on the rules or laws on creating financial statements for the government, a private company, or a legal organization (The Institute of Internal Auditors, 2011). According to Kwok (2005, pp. 151 – 161), accounting irregularities can be made for the purpose of tax evasion or theft by creating ghost employees, skimming of the proceeds, or theft of an asset. Specifically in the United Kingdom, the Chartered Accountants or the Certified General Accountants are the group of individuals who are qualified to conduct external auditing. According to Poorter (2008), auditors within the United Kingdom has to perform a special duty of care to a liable third party. It means that the external auditors are made responsible in making fair, just and reasonable treatment to the company’s external shareholders. In case external auditors have a binding contract between the company and the shareholders of the said company, it is a general rule for the external auditor(s) to fulfil his/her statutory duty as an auditor to shareholders collectively or as a group. As a standard operating procedure, external auditors are expected to evaluate the financial statement of another organization on a yearly basis (Hicks and Goo, 2008, p. 261). Upon going through the financial statement of a government, a private company, or a legal organization, external auditors are expected ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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