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'A sort of guide, philosopher and friend': the rise of the professional auditor in Britain

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This paper considers the legal and financial context in which professional audit emerged in Britain during the nineteenth century. It concludes that an important contributing factor to the rise of the audit profession was its provision of advice on prudent accounting, which represented a distinctive competence. The capture of a jurisdiction over business advisory services from the legal profession involved, however, a relationship of complicity with management and large insider investors the interests of social capital- to the exclusion of small investors, who were stigmatized as 'speculators'.
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Keywords: ACCOUNTING CONVENTIONS; ACCOUNTING PROFESSION; AUDITING; BRITAIN; CONSERVATISM; PRUDENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1999-03-01

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