European Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance Research (EJAAFR)

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Policeman Theory and Contemporary Auditing in Nigeria: An Empirical Investigation of Past and Present


There has been a misconception among certain stakeholders regarding the principal responsibility of auditors concerning financial statements. This misconception revolves around the belief that statutory auditors bear the responsibility for detecting fraud and errors within an organization, aligning with the concept known as the “policeman’s theory.” This research aimed to investigate the impact of the policeman’s theory on contemporary auditing practices in Nigeria. The study employed a combination of primary data collection through structured questionnaires and secondary data from extant literature. Findings revealed that the roles and responsibilities of external auditors have undergone significant evolution over the years, among others. As a result of these findings, it is recommended that statutory auditors should prioritize the implementation of robust quality control measures in their audit engagements.

Keywords: Financial Statements, Fraud, contemporary auditing, policeman theory, statutory auditors

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