'The Elective Auditors', A.Griffiths, Supplement to the Financial Circular, 1904, ix-x
A stt·iking-fcatun:: or the dcci~ion g·i\'Cl\ in the IJC\ ' l.}llport CHSC was that the C~HII't dccidl•d that t(Hir da ys was ample time I0 1· the a udit tlf the accuunts ot that boroug-h uncler the Public Health ,\ct. ,\s you ar<~ no doubt aware Devonport is a county bor·ough of 75,000 inhabitants, a nd has a rateable value of £~8i,556. The extent tlf an audit t o he cl.)mpletetl within four days in such an impot·tant hon:mgh is more easily itnagined tha n dcs~··ibed , hu t it would appc<.u· that a ny altt~mpt to e xa mine any accounts 0thcr than ca~h \V it h in such a timt: w ould he a phys ical impossibility. The Wt~akllt.'S" of such a n a u Uil is i l t t)llCe apparent. Sub :-.id iary acct111111s such as tho!Se contained in the pri\·atc works \,•dgPr would be pas"ied by, whilst ratt~ coll\!ction acCL'unts would r~ceive but . scant attcntiou. P robably ~uch important duties as checking sinking funds aud irn ·estment accounts would only receive .-;lig-ht attention, i f any, and th~ examination of documents and accounts in connection with c.:ontracts for building works (usually a fr uitful source of overcharge, de.), would not be made, except perhaps to endeavour to a scertain if Alderman or Councillor so-and-so was interested financially with the firm of contractors. It should not be understo0d from these remarks that d cctive auditors always carry o ut their duties after the manner just described, for on looking through the Abstract of Ac counts for ditTt!o·en t
tificatt~'i of elective auditt1r~. appt!arintr in the Abstracts of Accounts of \'arion~ b(Wlmghs, may prove interesting.