The importance of fostering more accurate audits has been heightened by a series of highprofile accounting scandals at the beginning of the millennium. These scandals prompted more stringent regulations over corporate governance and financial reporting and the creation of audit oversight bodies as the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) in the United States and the Public Oversight Board (POB) in the United Kingdom. In parallel, the growing globalization of business has brought forth calls for adherence to a common set of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Even if a common standard is promulgated, it will not lead to similar results if implementation differs across countries. Therefore, it is important to investigate the auditing regulatory regimes in different nations and the status of cross-border audit inspections. Accordingly, we begin by describing the cross-national institutions (e.g., the International Federation of Accountants [IFAC]) that impact national regulatory choices. Then we survey the audit regulatory practices of public company auditors of a select group of major economic powers and based on this analysis, we discuss the challenges and obstacles to engaging in intra-national audit, cross-national audit/inspections, and the challenges posed by differences in auditing standards used in various linked (e.g., by joint ventures, etc.) nations. We include in this discussion the effects of national culture, investor legal protection, economic development, and differing financial standard sources.
- Audit quality