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The surveillance of a supreme audit institution on related party transactions

The surveillance of a supreme audit institution on related party transactions This paper aims to analyse how the supreme audit institution (SAI) monitors related party transactions (RPTs) in the Brazilian public sector. It considers definitions and disclosure policies of RPTs by international accounting and auditing standards and their evolution since 1980.Design/methodology/approachBased on archival research on international standards and using an interpretive approach, the authors investigated definitions and disclosure policies. Using a topic model based on latent Dirichlet allocation, the authors performed a content analysis on over 59,000 SAI decisions to assess how the SAI monitors RPTs.FindingsThe SAI investigates nepotism (a kind of RPT) and conflicts of interest up to eight times more frequently than related parties. Brazilian laws prevent nepotism and conflicts of interest, but not RPTs in general. Indeed, Brazilian public-sector accounting standards have not converged towards IPSAS 20, and ISSAI 1550 does not adjust auditing procedures to suit the public sector.Research limitations/implicationsThe SAI follows a legalistic auditing approach, indicating a need for regulation of related public-sector parties to improve surveillance. In addition to Brazil, other code law countries might face similar circumstances.Originality/valuePublic-sector RPTs are an under-investigated field, calling for attention by academics and standard-setters. Text mining and latent Dirichlet allocation, while mature techniques, are underexplored in accounting and auditing studies. Additionally, the Python script created to analyse the audit reports is available at Mendeley Data and may be used to perform similar analyses with minor adaptations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management Emerald Publishing

The surveillance of a supreme audit institution on related party transactions

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1096-3367
DOI
10.1108/jpbafm-12-2019-0181
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to analyse how the supreme audit institution (SAI) monitors related party transactions (RPTs) in the Brazilian public sector. It considers definitions and disclosure policies of RPTs by international accounting and auditing standards and their evolution since 1980.Design/methodology/approachBased on archival research on international standards and using an interpretive approach, the authors investigated definitions and disclosure policies. Using a topic model based on latent Dirichlet allocation, the authors performed a content analysis on over 59,000 SAI decisions to assess how the SAI monitors RPTs.FindingsThe SAI investigates nepotism (a kind of RPT) and conflicts of interest up to eight times more frequently than related parties. Brazilian laws prevent nepotism and conflicts of interest, but not RPTs in general. Indeed, Brazilian public-sector accounting standards have not converged towards IPSAS 20, and ISSAI 1550 does not adjust auditing procedures to suit the public sector.Research limitations/implicationsThe SAI follows a legalistic auditing approach, indicating a need for regulation of related public-sector parties to improve surveillance. In addition to Brazil, other code law countries might face similar circumstances.Originality/valuePublic-sector RPTs are an under-investigated field, calling for attention by academics and standard-setters. Text mining and latent Dirichlet allocation, while mature techniques, are underexplored in accounting and auditing studies. Additionally, the Python script created to analyse the audit reports is available at Mendeley Data and may be used to perform similar analyses with minor adaptations.

Journal

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 19, 2020

Keywords: Related parties; Supreme audit institution; Surveillance; Standard setters; Nepotism; Conflicts of interest

References