Auditing with Accountability: Shrinking the Opportunity Spaces for Audit Failure

Adam Leaver*, Leonard Seabrooke, Saila Stausholm, Duncan Wigan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch


In recent years, a number of high-profile company failures have raised fundamental questions about the willingness and/or ability of auditors to exercise the professional scepticism necessary for the production of robust audits.
The report argues that audit failure takes place within a particular configuration of economic, cultural and regulatory arrangements which create the 'opportunity spaces' for poor practice. Shrinking those opportunity spaces requires a multi-dimensional response, including the structural separation of audit and non-audit functions, a more robust system of fines and the integration of a civil society voice into the reform process to prevent regulatory capture.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationSheffield
PublisherUniversity of Sheffield
Number of pages48
Publication statusPublished - 13 Mar 2020


  • Audit failure
  • Audit reform
  • Accounting reform
  • Corporate collapse
  • Accountability

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