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The Philosophy of Auditing by Mautz and Sharaf: A Classic Book on Auditing Theory
Auditing is a complex and dynamic field that requires a solid theoretical foundation to guide its practice. One of the most influential books on auditing theory is The Philosophy of Auditing by Robert Kuhn Mautz and Hussein Amer Sharaf, published in 1961 by the American Accounting Association[^1^]. This book is considered a landmark in the development of auditing as a discipline and a profession.
Mautz and Sharaf aimed to provide a comprehensive and coherent framework for auditing based on a set of postulates, or basic assumptions, derived from logic, ethics, and experience. They argued that auditing is not merely a mechanical or technical activity, but a philosophical one that involves judgment, interpretation, and evaluation. They also emphasized the importance of auditor independence, due care, evidence, verification, and fair representation as essential principles of auditing.
The book consists of nine chapters that cover various aspects of auditing philosophy, such as the methodology of auditing, the postulates of auditing, the objectives of auditing, the scope of auditing, the standards of auditing, the ethics of auditing, the reporting of auditing, the evaluation of auditing, and the future of auditing. Each chapter provides a clear and concise exposition of the main concepts and issues, supported by examples and illustrations. The book also includes an extensive bibliography and an index.
The Philosophy of Auditing by Mautz and Sharaf is still widely cited and referenced by scholars and practitioners in the field of auditing. It is regarded as a classic work that has contributed significantly to the advancement of auditing knowledge and practice. The book is available in PDF format for free download from various online sources[^2^] [^3^].
One of the main challenges of auditing theory is to develop a coherent and consistent framework that can explain and guide the practice of auditing in various contexts and situations. Auditing theory draws on various disciplines, such as accounting, economics, law, psychology, and sociology, to understand and analyze the role and function of auditing in society. Auditing theory also aims to address the emerging issues and trends that affect the auditing profession, such as globalization, technology, regulation, and ethics.
Auditing theory can be classified into two broad categories: normative and positive. Normative auditing theory prescribes how auditing should be performed and what standards and principles should be followed by auditors. Normative auditing theory is based on logic, ethics, and professional judgment. Positive auditing theory describes how auditing is actually performed and what factors influence the behavior and decisions of auditors. Positive auditing theory is based on empirical evidence, observation, and testing.
Auditing theory is important for both academics and practitioners in the field of auditing. For academics, auditing theory provides a basis for conducting research and developing knowledge that can contribute to the advancement of auditing as a discipline and a profession. For practitioners, auditing theory provides a framework for applying professional judgment and skills in performing audits and enhancing audit quality. Auditing theory also helps auditors cope with the dynamic and complex environment in which they operate. 061ffe29dd