Returning to its roots in activism and economic justice, this issue exposes accounting practice as a contested terrain by examining its role as a social force encompassing issues of value, governance, ethics, politics, and class. Arguing that the view of the discipline as objective and fair is a myth, these papers illuminate the detrimental social consequences of failing to recognize accountings role in the social environment. Investigating accounting's use of independence as a protective shield in obscuring winners and losers regarding financial activity, the papers illustrate accountings contribution to the failures of free markets worldwide: systemic global poverty, questionable privatization of public enterprises and public goods, and greater divides between so-called first and third world nations. Revealing the integrated nature of regulation, accounting, and ethics, the papers in this volume question the logic of merely fine tuning current systems proposing instead visionary and innovative change by probing deeply into our beliefs, social practices, and consciousness.
1. David J. Cooper and Dean Neu Auditor and Audit Independence in an Age of Financial Scandals 2. C. Richard Baker The Contested Concept of Auditor Independence 3. James C. Gaa Integrity, Auditor Independence, and the Protection of Investors 4. Joni J. Young Examining Audit Relations: A Reconsideration of Auditor Independence 5. John M. Thornton Auditor Independence and Non Audit Services: The SECs Independence Hearings Through a User Primary Lens 6. Robin W. Roberts Politics and the Public Accounting Profession in the U.S.: Implications for the Federal Regulation of Auditing and Financial Reporting 7. Yves Gendron Reforming Auditor Independence: Voicing and Acting Upon Auditors Concerns and Criticisms 8. Jeff Everett and Duncan Green The Changing Nature of Accounting Virtues 9., Katarzyna Kosmala and Pat Sucher On the (Im)Possiblity of Auditor Independence: Insights from Central and Eastern Europe 10. Christopher Humphrey, Peter Moizer, and Stuart Turley Independence and Competence? A Critical Questioning of Auditing