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From Ticking to Clicking: Changes in Auditing Techniques in Britain from the 19th Century to the Present

Matthews, Derek 2006. From Ticking to Clicking: Changes in Auditing Techniques in Britain from the 19th Century to the Present. The Accounting Historians Journal 33 (2) , pp. 63-102.

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The purpose of this article is to detail and explain the changes in auditing techniques that have taken place in Britain since the Victorian era, an area of study hitherto neglected by accounting historians. In so doing, it is hoped that an increasing knowledge of past practices will put the current processes into context. The source material for the paper includes new evidence from a program of oral history and postal questionnaires, together with more traditional sources such as the trade journals and textbooks. The so-called bookkeeping audit of vouching and checking postings and castings, and with the auditor also doing a fair proportion of the clients accounting, was typical down to the 1960s. Major changes then took place, including a decline in accounting work, an increased focus on the balance sheet, and a reliance on sampling and the systems approach. This trend is explained by a growth in the size and professionalism of audit clients. Further change since the 1980s reflects the use of risk assessment, materiality, and analytical review and may be ascribed to the growing commercial pressures on auditors.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Publisher: The Academy of Accounting Historians
ISSN: 0148-4182
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:29

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