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1 An Historical Perspective of Government Auditing—With Special Reference to the U.S. General Accounting Office Leo Herbert Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Introduction Looking back on what has happened to auditing in the government by one who was there may give a somewhat warped perspective. Nevertheless, I am going to interject some of my own impressions of what happened in government accounting and auditing during the past forty or fifty years that I have participated in these activities—in education, in state and local auditing, and in the Federal Government. Looking back into history only a short distance, a short enough distance to obtain a vision of the environment that is causing auditing changes, we sometimes might not like what we foresee. Foreseeing changes oftentimes can be very disconcerting, because we can possibly see that the changes can extend into our own future in such a way that they will dramatically affect us and our future professional lives. Most of us do not like rapid changes of any kind and especially those that directly affect us. Yet, you can see that changes in government auditing may be reflected in private auditing, and likewise, changes in private auditing can affect government auditing. First, let me give you an overview of what has happened in government auditing from the time that the United States started as an independent nation until recently. Then I will give you a more detailed look at government auditing with special reference to auditing in the U.S. General Accounting Office during the past thirty years. By then, you should be ready to take a peek into the future to see some of the conditions in government auditing that may affect you in your professional activities, whether they be in education, public accounting, internal auditing, private accounting, or in governmental accounting. A Look at Auditing During the Various Periods of United States History During my early years in the GAO, I became very interested in the history of auditing because what we in the GAO regarded as auditing seemed somewhat different from what the rest of the profession was calling auditing; furthermore, the impression I received from some of my friends in the public accounting profession was that they thought what we were doing was not auditing. I had many of them, including some members of state boards of accountancy and professors of accounting, tell me that only the examination of financial statements was auditing—and 1
Historical perspective of government auditing -- With special reference to the U.S. general accounting office
Nichols, Donald R., ed.
Stettler, Howard, ed.
Finance, public -- Auditing
United States. General Accounting Office
Auditing Symposium V: Proceedings of the 1980 Touche Ross/University of Kansas Symposium on Auditing Problems, pp. 001-016
|Source||Published by: University of Kansas, School of Business|
|Rights||Contents have not been copyrighted|
|Format||PDF page image with corrected OCR scanned at 400 dpi|
|Collection||Deloitte Digital Collection|
|Digital Publisher||University of Mississippi Library. Accounting Collection|