An Empirical Study of External Auditor’s Independence and Contribution to Assurance ,Transparency of Public Sector Accounting Systems and Controls: A Case of the Ministry of Finance, Ghana

Peter Lartey Yao, Kong Yusheng, Fatoumata Binta Maci Bah


This paper investigates a number of critical determinants of auditor’s independence in handling public sector accounts and the necessity to act in a professional fashion to guarantee transparency of public sector accounting. The study contribute to knowledge regarding the increasing financial irregularities and lack of due diligence in the application of public resources, critical evaluation of the link between internal control systems and independent auditing for the sake of objectivity and good governance. The study employed the Chi-square goodness of fit test with the help of SPSS and STATA software to determine the degree of association, correlation coefficient and the degree of independence between the dependent and independent variables selected for the analyses. A total of 200 participants were purposively drawn from the Ministry of Finance of Ghana for the study. Measuring the variables for association, the Pearson Chi-Square test confirmed significant relationships at a level of {P<0.000<0.05}, statistically implies that the alternate hypothesis be accepted with further justification from the high Ch-Square test values for each independent variable measured . There is a high possibility that certified and qualified auditors can act in a professional fashion without external influence as implied by; [   (184.856), p-value <0.05, df: 1]. Public Scrutiny can ensure due diligence by auditors as indicated in  = 179.541 at a significant level of p< 0.001. The role of internal audit is critical is ensuring transparency at =193.430 and a significant level of p<0.002<0.05. The contribution by the board is equally significant at p<0.000 indicating the relevance of their existence in every organisation. The study therefore came to a conclusion that sensitive information regarding the public sector be made known to stakeholders for scrutiny particularly issues with long and short term financial implications . In order to ensure transparency and objectivity the internal audit must be equipped to the standard of the external auditors, while the board consist of people with expert knowledge in a particular ministry or department. Auditors with long standing reputation and certification by a professional body are suitable to handle public accounts to reduce the tendency of being influenced by incompetent management as a basic requirement for sound internal control systems across the public sector of Ghana.

Keywords: Independent auditing, Assurance, Public confidence, Transparency, Internal Control systems.

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