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A Critical Review on - the Legitimacy of New Assurance Providers: Making the Cap Fit

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A critical review on:

The legitimacy of new assurance providers: Making the cap fit


 Paul Andona, Clinton Free, Prabhu Sivabalan

Accounting, Organization and Society, 39 (2014) 75-96

Ioan Codrut Turlea                              

Sander van Houten         6126979

Date: 08th October, 2014                                        Seminar 3, wed 13.00 -15.00

                                                                SAE 2014/2015


This essay is a critical review of the paper “The legitimacy of new assurance providers: Making the cap fit”, by Paul Andona, Clinton Free, and Prabhu Sivabalan published in the Accounting, Organization and Society, Volume 39 (2014).

The structure of the review is as follows: Firstly, we will try to provide evidence if the objectives and research question (or the motives) of the paper are clear, convincing and properly linked into prior literature. Secondly, we will reflect the use of theory in the paper. Thirdly, we will discuss the research method used in the paper. Fourthly, we will evaluate if the findings are justified, coherent and relevant to the research objective. Finally, we will give our overall critical opinion on the article and come up with possible ways to improve it.

Objectives and Motives

Due to the fact that the article begins by presenting the objectives and motives of the paper, we also start our critique with this element. In our opinion, the authors provide evidence about different audit styles technologies and about the fact that there is a “growing interest in auditing and assurance in new audit spaces”. They correlate these ideas with literature in the field, as they want “to investigate efforts by auditors to establish jurisdiction in new audit spaces through two in-depth field studies of the positioning of salary cap auditors in the National Rugby League (NRL) in Australia and Canadian Football League (CFL) in Canada”. We think that their arguments are well motivated which can be easily proven by the following citation “The motivation for this paper stems from two sources. First, recent years witnessed an increase in auditing and assurance of information published in a variety of new spaces. While many authors have considered the way in which these services have attached legitimacy to certified data, auditees and even third parties (Free et al., 2009), “much less has been written about the process of acquiring and developing the legitimacy of audit technologies themselves” (Robson, Humphrey, Khalifa, & Jones, 2007, p. 421)”. Consequently, “analysis of the efforts of ‘auditors’ appointed to newly established roles to solidify their position and legitimacy remains in its infancy”.


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