Auditors as Whistleblowers
Article first published online: 17 SEP 2003
International Journal of Auditing
Volume 4, Issue 2, pages 153–167, July 2000
How to Cite
Jubb, P. B. (2000), Auditors as Whistleblowers. International Journal of Auditing, 4: 153–167. doi: 10.1111/1099-1123.00310
- Issue published online: 17 SEP 2003
- Article first published online: 17 SEP 2003
- Cited By
- Ethical dilemmas;
- external audit;
- internal audit;
- professional ethics;
Auditors are being depicted as whistleblowers, a phenomenon which, given negative social attitudes to whistleblowers and informers more generally, can be harmful to the profession and individual practitioners. A recently published general-purpose definition of whistleblowing is applied to the audit function, considering internal and external auditing separately. The definition is briefly described. It depicts whistleblowing as a disclosure which expresses accusation and dissent; and entails an ethical dilemma of divided loyalty, the origins of which lie in a prima facie duty to respect an organisations proprietary rights over its information. The case argued here is that internal audit disclosures and those arising from the dominant external statutory audit do not qualify as whistleblowing as defined.
Whistleblowing is also examined as an audit metaphor but is discarded as unsuitable mainly on grounds of ambiguity.