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We’re off to see the wizard: an evaluation of directors’ and auditors’ experiences with the Financial Reporting Review Panel

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The Financial Reporting Review Panel (FRRP) was an innovation in the UK as it was responsible for the previously little considered issue of ensuring compliance with financial reporting regulations. This paper draws on institutional theory to compare the stated aims, objectives and operating procedures of the FRRP with the practical experiences of those who have had discussions with them, and evidence of the wider impact of their work. The aim is to provide a richer understanding of the way in which this relatively new institution achieves its objectives, and to determine whether it has engaged in “myth making” in order to establish and maintain its legitimacy. The original objectives of the FRRP are explored in this paper, as well as subsequent public pronouncements on its aims, procedures, and achievements. Discussions with key members of the FRRP have enabled further clarification of some of the issues. The perceptions of those with experience of dealing with the FRRP were gained by a series of semi-structured interviews. Interviews were carried out with company directors and audit firm partners who had direct experience of the FRRP. The analysis draws out themes related to the investigation process and final outcomes of this process. The paper concludes that there is some evidence that the FRRP has engaged in “myth building”. For example, it was considered that cases the FRRP chose to pursue tended to involve rather less serious issues than their public statements might suggest. Also they have considerable operational discretion and this appears to be exercised in a rather unpredictable way without explanation. Overall, however, the evidence suggests that the FRRP is an effective regulator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-84
Number of pages32
JournalAccounting Auditing and Accountability Journal
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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