Summary of The Audit Society

Rituals of Verification

Oxford UP,
First Edition: 1997 more...

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The Audit Society book summary
What is auditing? And why is everybody doing it? Find out why the world is constantly checking on itself.


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8 Innovation

5 Style


Why are individuals willing to live in an “audit society” where almost everything is checked? Perhaps they accept such monitoring because few folks would want to live under the opposite conditions, where nothing is checked. People want to know that their planes can fly, their banks won’t fail and their food is safe. Thus, auditing has become ubiquitous – but does it exist only for its own sake, or does it have intrinsic value? Does it help, hurt or control society? In this reprint of his original 1997 work, accounting lecturer Michael Power explains how auditing has come to permeate the social, political, corporate and economic worlds. His short text is often a hard, dense read, but he’ll broaden your understanding of auditing beyond the numbers in a ledger: Auditing, he teaches, underpins many facets of society and involves crucial questions of trust. getAbstract believes accountants, auditors and those who hire them will find this work particularly relevant, but those seeking deeper knowledge of professional practices and of how society works also will be intrigued.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How auditors work and what responsibilities they handle,
  • Why auditing has grown in popularity, and
  • What this means for business and society.


“The Audit Explosion”
You may not realize that you live in an “audit society,” but you do. For example, parents perform an audit every time they check to make sure their child’s safety belt is fastened. However, in the course of your daily life, you also exercise a certain amount of trust...
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About the Author

Former Coopers and Lybrand auditor Michael Power teaches accounting at the London School of Economics.

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