Audit and the Pursuit of Dynamic Repair

Christopher Humphrey, Amanda Sonnerfeldt, Naoko Komori, Emer Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Is audit capable of evolving into something that is more consistently valued and socially purposeful? We address this fundamental question, utilizing Sennett’s (2008). The Craftsman. New Haven: Yale University Press) notion of ‘dynamic repair’ to present four key ways of thinking differently about the statutory financial audit and its core conceptual foundations. First, we highlight the capacity for audit to be regarded as a first-order function of value in its own right rather than a second-order function inherently dependent on corporate financial statements. Second, we call for a change in the assumed relationship between audit and assurance, arguing that assurance should be treated as a sub-set of audit rather than the other way round. Third, we consider the scope for audit standard setting to provide a space for ‘product’ innovation. Finally, we advocate moving beyond presumptions that the current statutory financial audit serves ‘the public interest’ to asking deeper questions about the type of society we want to inhabit and whether audit has a more direct and valued contribution to make. Collectively, such re-conceptualizations offer a broader canvas for audit innovation and can help to sustain the promise of current audit reform initiatives proposed by the Brydon Report and others.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-471
Number of pages27
JournalEuropean Accounting Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2021


  • Assurance Services
  • Audit
  • Brydon Report
  • Public Interest


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