University of Hertfordshire

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Responding to risk and uncertainty in auditing International NGOs

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Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Perspectives on Accounting
Journal publication date1 Apr 2018
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 Apr 2018

Abstract

This article explores how risk, uncertainty and assumptions about management are mediated through the practice of audit. We have used as our domain of inquiry organisations in the international development sector because of their unique exposure to operating in conditions of uncertainty, thus making financial prediction and management control highly problematic. In addition, in some pockets in the INGO sector, some of the more taken-for-granted assumptions about what it means to manage organisations well are still contested. We argue in this article that what is eventually taken to be true in the audit function, necessarily arises in the dialectic of struggle over how to cope with uncertainty, to predict outcomes, and to control the organisation. The authors contend that the insights gained from such an inquiry are generalizable to other organisational processes, such as performance appraisal or evaluation, where abstract schemes of thought collide with contingent reality in fluid circumstances.

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