Revision och lagreglering : ett historiskt perspektiv

Sammanfattning: Laws change due to changes in society’s norms. New laws in turn alter conditions for business and society. Auditing is one of the few professions in Sweden which is governed by comprehensive legislation. Changes in the rules for auditing therefore mean changes in the conditions of an auditor’s daily work.It was not until 1912 that individuals began to plan for a career in auditing. It was then that the first auditors were certified by the business community. Ever since then the profession has changed. Auditing ceased to be only of concern to the business community and became instead a concern for many interested parties, such as creditors, the state, and tax authorities. Their needs have been different and have therefore put different demands on auditors. The state has as a consequence changed its regulation of auditing in companies.The purpose of this study is to describe the changes in legislation which affect Swedish auditors’ work, as well as to illustrate the reasons and consequences which were argued for by various interested parties in conjunction with these changes. The areas which are covered are the changes with regard to auditors’ education and competency, supervision and certification of auditors, the auditor’s task, sphere of activity, independence, and professional secrecy.In this debate, there is a gap between the expectations of what auditors believe they should do and what the various interest groups, such as clients and creditors, expect of them. This gap in expectations might be due to dissatisfaction with the rules, a poor understanding of what the rules are, or that the rules can be interpreted in various ways. This gap in expectations could possibly be minimized by making information about rules for auditing and their background available for the various interested parties.

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