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The impact of external audit and use of resources assessment on local authorities : a study on Yorkshire and the Humber region of England.

Abu Hasan, Haslida (2010) The impact of external audit and use of resources assessment on local authorities : a study on Yorkshire and the Humber region of England. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

External audit has a long history and used to be one of many inspection activities performed on local authorities. It has been used to provide assurance concerning the reliability of the accounts of an authority and on the legality of the underlying transactions. However, since the 1980s, it has been used in a variety of contexts which include new and intense accountgiving and verification requirements. Governments resort to auditing to secure local authority accountability to their various stakeholders. External auditors' work for local authorities in England is extended beyond certification audit to cover the Use of Resources assessment, a component included in the Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) regime. The inspection activities were performed by auditors even though the coverage of inspection goes beyond traditional definitions of auditing. The assessment regime of UoR gone through various changes and alterations every year since it was first introduced in 2002 and subject to greater alterations for assessment in 2009. Many researchers have highlighted the issues of extensive and high cost external audit but not many have attempted to discover what is going on in the field. This study fills the gaps found in literatures, exploring what is going on at local authorities and their perception on the external audit performed on them. Published data were analysed before developing structured interview questions. Responses were received from the Director/Head of Finance from 20 local authorities in Yorkshire and The Humber region and 19 were interviewed. This research contributes to the understanding and designing of assessment process covered in external audit practice at local authorities. It helps analyse the impact, perceptions and expectations of local authorities as to how much the external audit has helped and in what ways it could be improved. Different views were shared among the local authorities on the benefit of external audit and how it could be better performed. To conclude, the extensive assessment bears some positive drivers for improvement but should be more carefully designed to include feedback from the auditees and provide a longer time period for one assessment regime to help local authorities to fully respond and adapt its processes. These would help local authorities to reflect the improvement at their organisation rather than in numbers alone.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.522492
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 13:44
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2016 13:44
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14538

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