The Accounting Historians Journal Vol. 8, No. 1 Spring 1981
Robert W. Gibson DEAKIN UNIVERSITY and Roger Arnold
MOBIL OIL AUSTRALIA LTD.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUDITING STANDARDS IN AUSTRALIA
Abstract: The development of auditing standards in Australia occurred in three phases. The primary professional initiatives have come from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
The first phase was marked by F. E. Trigg's presentation to the Australian Con-gress on Accounting in 1948. In this work Trigg relied heavily on English practice and thought.
The second phase was largely a period of inactivity so far as auditing standards were concerned because of concern for other matters of greater urgency.
The third phase was marked by the adoption of American ideas and, partly in response to continuing criticism of accounting, a commitment to the continuing review of auditing standards.
The development of auditing standards and the formal documen-tation of them has involved a significant effort by the Australian accountancy profession since the early 1950's. The initial effort to formalise these standards was largely contributed by one man. The study of these developments provides an insight into the trend to-wards a change in the source of international influence on profes-sional concepts and practices in Australia. Evidence is provided of a change from English to American practice as the basis of Australian developments.
Central to this study is the recognition by the profession of its responsibility to identify, codify, and document these standards for the use of its members. Auditing standards provide guidelines to assist auditors in exercising their professional judgment. In the event of litigation involving the auditor, auditing standards provide a basis
The authors are particularly grateful for detailed comments made on an earlier draft by Mr. F. E. Trigg, formerly senior partner, Price Waterhouse & Co., Sydney. The authors remain responsible for any views of interpretation contained herein.