Auditing the Auditors: An Indian Perspective

Anil Kumar


Setting up of National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) in India as an independent regulator to audit the auditors has renewed a debate on ‘peer review’ and ‘independent review’. While the global practice is that of an independent oversight over the auditors, the professional body of auditors in India- Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) is opposed to the move of the government to appoint a regulator over auditors. This paper examines the perception of auditors and other stakeholders in India on the mechanism of auditing the auditors. The study finds that all stakeholders including practicing public accountants believe that the present state of auditing is not satisfactory in India. The difference in perception is on the setting up of the independent authority (NFRA) to audit the auditors. While the chartered accountants in India believe that self-regulation over the auditors through the existing mechanism may be made more effective, the other stakeholders overwhelmingly support the quasi-regulatory body for independent review of audit service.

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