The Role of External Audit Services in the Implementation of IPSAS in Tanzania

Neema Kiure-Mssusa, Henry Chalu, Sylvia Temu


The study assessed accountants’ perspectives regarding the influence of external audit services on the implementation of International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) in Tanzania. IPSAS is seen as a necessary tool for addressing accountability, management and decision-making challenges that have hampered the effectiveness of Public Sector Entities (PSE). External audit services were grouped into three categories; namely, assurance services, attestation services and consulting services. Adopting the positivist research paradigm, the study employed a cross-sectional survey with a sample of  379 respondents. These respondents comprised PSE financial accountants, internal auditors and external auditors. A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data. The data analysis techniques employed were means, percentages, standard deviation and structural equation modelling. The findings suggest that external audit services influence IPSAS implementation. In the study context, a  combination of assurance services, attestation services and consulting services is important for successful IPSAS implementation. On testing the sub-hypotheses, the findings suggested that assurance services have no significant influence on IPSAS implementation. Attestation services and consulting services were found to have significant positive influences on IPSAS implementation. External auditors in Tanzania conduct annual external audits of PSE to provide assurance that financial statements comply with IPSAS. It was, therefore, expected that assurance services would influence IPSAS implementation. One practical implication of the findings is that external audit services may have a profound impact in terms of solving the aforementioned challenges that have hampered PSE. Hence, the government should develop mechanisms to ensure that external audit services strengthen public financial management.

Keywords: Assurance Services, Attestation Services, Consulting Services, IPSAS, Public Sector Entities

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[ISSN 1821-7567 (Print)  & eISSN 2591-6947 (Online)]