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This conference proceeding was originally published as:

Howson, K., Langton, J., & West, B. (2014, July 6-8). Freedom of religion and eternal accountability: Internal auditing and its implications within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Paper presented at the Accounting & Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand Conference, Auckland, New Zealand.


150102 Auditing and Accountability


Based on archival resources, this study examines how accountability and internal auditing practices emerged and evolved within the distinctive setting of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Traditionally, this organisation was reluctant to account to its constituents in conventional financial terms. The Church administration prioritised notions of righteous accountability, while the general members of the church were concerned primarily with their own eternal accountability. That is, and reflecting its religious character, an emphasis on accountability relationships at a higher plane permeated the organisation: the Church with carrying out the mission it believed it had been entrusted with, and individual members with their own religious salvation. However, reservations over a perceived lack of monetary stewardship subsequently came to the fore. This precipitated an increased emphasis on financial accountability, with the adoption of an internal auditing function identified as a key outcome of this change.


Used by permission: Accounting & Finance Association of Australia & New Zealand Conference (AFAANZ)

At the time of writing Keith Howson was affiliated with Avondale College as a Conjoint Faculty.

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