This book provides a unique complement to the many texts which are available on auditing practice and procedures. Its purpose is to set auditing in a social context and to stimulate the reader to think of the wider social objectives of auditing. Auditing is presented as part of the public and private control mechanism of monitoring and securing accountability. After a general introduction to a framework of theory it deals with the source of authority, the process by which the audit is carried out and the basis on which the auditors' standards are established and maintained. At a time when the role of the auditor is very much under scrutiny it provides a new, valuable and stimulating analysis of the issue.