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The Application of Audit Standards in ECA's Work

17 Pages Posted: 4 May 2017  

Alex Brenninkmeijer

Utrecht University

Raphael Debets

European Court of Auditors

Branislav Hock

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Gaston Moonen

European Court of Auditors

Date Written: May 3, 2017

Abstract

External auditors, both in the private and in the public sector, are in the business of providing information to citizens and other stakeholders, to decide whether and in how far they can trust in what the audited bodies claim has been achieved. Audits of these auditors are governed by standards which concern the different aspects of professionalism of auditors and their audits. This raises the question how these standards fit into a regulatory framework under which an external auditor operates. So far, there is little published research on the role and structure of standards that govern audits of the European Court of Auditors (ECA). By drawing a structure of these standards and investigating them vis-à-vis the EU legal framework, we argue that the ECA, which is based on constitutional law and EU law, is mainly following the private sector standards and private sector standards are more or less copied, as far as financial audit is concerned. For issues more exclusively covered by public sector auditors, such as performance audits, public sector auditors have developed themselves standards and guidelines. The fact that there are no uniform general audit principles which would govern the work of the ECA raises a concern to what extent public external auditors pay attention to the difference between the public and private auditing. The paper aims to enhance our understanding of the institutional complementarity between transnational private regulation and public regimes.

Keywords: audit, standards, public sector auditors, informal law, accountability, the European Court of Auditor

JEL Classification: K10, H83, M42, M48

Suggested Citation

Brenninkmeijer, Alex and Debets, Raphael and Hock, Branislav and Moonen, Gaston, The Application of Audit Standards in ECA's Work (May 3, 2017). TILEC Discussion Paper No. 2017-0013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2962409

Alex Brenninkmeijer

Utrecht University ( email )

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Raphael Debets

European Court of Auditors ( email )

L-1615 Luxembourg
Netherlands

Branislav Hock (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Gaston Moonen

European Court of Auditors ( email )

L-1615 Luxembourg
Netherlands

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