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“And the BAFTA goes to (…)”: the assurance role of the auditor in the film awards ceremony

“And the BAFTA goes to (…)”: the assurance role of the auditor in the film awards ceremony Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the Official Scrutineer in the annual film awards ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), a role currently occupied by the audit firm Deloitte. The case of BAFTA provides an illustrative example of the increasing demand for discretionary assurance services from audit firms (Free et al. , 2009), which in turn is reflective of Power's (1997) “audit society”. It showcases the power of audit as a legitimating tool. The paper seeks to understand the role of the auditor as assurance provider by drawing upon Goffman's (1959) dramaturgical framework. Viewing the auditor as “performer” and a range of interested stakeholders (BAFTA voting members, sponsors, award winners and industry commentators) as the “audience”, this theoretical lens facilitates insights into the nature of assurance provision. Design/methodology/approach – The paper gathers interview data from within the case organization (BAFTA), it's Official Scrutineers (Deloitte), BAFTA voting members, sponsors, award winners and film industry commentators. Findings – Drawing on Goffman's (1959) work on impression management to inform its theoretical argumentation, the analysis of results from 36 interviews indicates that Deloitte are highly effective in delivering a successful performance to their audience; they convey a very convincing impression of trust and assurance. The paper therefore suggests the importance of performance ritual in the auditor's role as assurance provider. Additionally, it argues that such a performance may be particularly effective, in the eyes of the audience, when played by a well known audit firm. Originality/value – The paper highlights the expanding territorial scope of assurance provision by audit firms. By focusing on a glamorous media event, it also furthers an understanding of the role of accounting within the domain of popular culture. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

“And the BAFTA goes to (…)”: the assurance role of the auditor in the film awards ceremony

Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal , Volume 27 (5): 31 – Jun 2, 2014

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References (72)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/AAAJ-03-2013-1252
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of the Official Scrutineer in the annual film awards ceremony of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), a role currently occupied by the audit firm Deloitte. The case of BAFTA provides an illustrative example of the increasing demand for discretionary assurance services from audit firms (Free et al. , 2009), which in turn is reflective of Power's (1997) “audit society”. It showcases the power of audit as a legitimating tool. The paper seeks to understand the role of the auditor as assurance provider by drawing upon Goffman's (1959) dramaturgical framework. Viewing the auditor as “performer” and a range of interested stakeholders (BAFTA voting members, sponsors, award winners and industry commentators) as the “audience”, this theoretical lens facilitates insights into the nature of assurance provision. Design/methodology/approach – The paper gathers interview data from within the case organization (BAFTA), it's Official Scrutineers (Deloitte), BAFTA voting members, sponsors, award winners and film industry commentators. Findings – Drawing on Goffman's (1959) work on impression management to inform its theoretical argumentation, the analysis of results from 36 interviews indicates that Deloitte are highly effective in delivering a successful performance to their audience; they convey a very convincing impression of trust and assurance. The paper therefore suggests the importance of performance ritual in the auditor's role as assurance provider. Additionally, it argues that such a performance may be particularly effective, in the eyes of the audience, when played by a well known audit firm. Originality/value – The paper highlights the expanding territorial scope of assurance provision by audit firms. By focusing on a glamorous media event, it also furthers an understanding of the role of accounting within the domain of popular culture.

Journal

Accounting Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 2, 2014

Keywords: Impression management; Auditor; Assurance services; BAFTA; Goffman; Scrutineer

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