Quality Control Through Venetian Blinds: Regulating the Swedish Auditing Industry
European Accounting Review, Forthcoming
Posted: 29 Jan 2010
Date Written: January 29, 2010
In this article I attempt to gain an understanding of the regulatory processes in the auditing industry by studying the development of quality control in Sweden between 1977 and 2004. The article starts with the observation that the audit industry is multilayered and that regulatory processes occur on different levels: between the state and the profession at large and between the professional association and the individual auditor or auditing firm. The focus is on the interaction between the different levels. Through developing a framework built on regulation theories from political science and the field of accounting research, three aspects of the regulatory processes important for the interaction between the levels are defined: the substantive, the justifying and the material. These aspects are later used to analyse the case study, leading to a specification of the characteristics and content of the couplings between the different levels where regulation is occurring.
Keywords: auditing regulation, quality control, materialisation of regulatory devices
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