The Role of Auditing in the Fight Against Corruption

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The purpose of this paper is to analyze how various types of auditing may contribute to fight corruption. While previous literature has primarily addressed auditing's ability to prevent corruption, this paper systematically explores auditing's potential to detect corruption. It argues that financial auditing has excluded corruption from the definition of fraud and instead classified it as ‘non-compliance with laws and regulations’. The main arguments for this exclusion is that corruption leaves no material errors in financial statements and no evidence for the auditor to follow. The paper refutes this, arguing that commercial and political corruption creates misstatements in the financial statements of the corruption giver's organization as well as the corruption receiver's organization. Thus, if auditing is to gain a more prominent role in the fight against corruption, auditing standards must include corruption in the definition of fraud, private and public sector auditors need to cooperate and exchange information, auditing techniques to detect corruption should be employed, and the auditing profession must embrace effective preventive measures such as anti-corruption certifications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100798
JournalBritish Accounting Review
Issue number5
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online: 8. June 2018


  • Corruption
  • Bribery
  • Accounting
  • Auditing
  • Expectation gap
  • IFAC

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