变化中的会计师审计独立性——与当前环境与时俱进 外文原文

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'变化中的会计师审计独立性——与当前环境与时俱进 外文原文'
The Varying Concept of Auditor IndependenceShifting with the Prevailing Environment,C. Richard BakerAUGUST 2005 - As CPA Journal Editor-in-Chief Robert Colson observed in his March 2004 column, “Auditor Independence Redux,” the concept of auditor independence has varied over the last 150 years. In a general sense, auditor independence has borne a relationship to the prevailing commercial environment in different time periods. There has not, however, been a clear transition from one concept of auditor independence to another. Frequently, more than one idea of auditor independence has been present in the discussion about independence between professional accountants and auditors, regulators, and the general public.The initial concept of auditor independence, which arose during the 19th century, was based on the premise, primarily British in origin, that a principal duty of professional accountants and auditors was the oversight of absente investments in the existing and former colonies of the British Empire. During this period, a relatively small number of accounting firms could perform audits for a relatively large number of entities. Professional accountants and auditors could render reports on the financial performance of different entities and could work for different investor groups.The concept of auditor independence during this era did not conceive of auditors as advocates for audited entities; British investors explicitly forbade auditors from investing or working in the businesses that they audited. At the same time, as long as auditors maintained their primary loyalty to the investors back home, the scope of professional accounting services could be reasonably broad. For example, auditors were permitted to keep the books and prepare the financial statements for the entities they audited.This initial concept of auditor independence changed during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time, there was an economic shift from capital coming primarily from foreign sources to capital deriving primarily from domestic sources. This change was associated with the emergence of large American corporations in industries such as mining, railroads, energy, and telegraph and telephone. The emergence of large American corporations was accompanied by a change in the understanding of the purpose and nature of the business corporation. In the 1930s, noted economists Adolf Bearle and Gardiner Means articulated this change by advancing the proposition that large corporations were based on the separation of ownership from management and that an important role for accounting and auditing was to properly value the proprietary interest of the corporation. In the context of this new idea of the corporation, the auditor’s primary duty was to serve the needs of the collective proprietary interest rather than a specific absentee-ownership interest. This collective proprietary interest essentially comprised domestic shareholders, that were often
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变化中的会计师审计独立性——与当前环境与时俱进外文原文
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