Title: Catastrophe theory, a relevant model for auditors' behaviour

Authors: Jean-Guy Degos

Addresses: Bordeaux University, IAE School of Management – IRGO, 35, avenue Abadie – 33072 Bordeaux, France

Abstract: Twenty years ago, in my third thesis (Degos, 1991), I mentioned the problem of the formation of the opinion of the statutory auditor, and I used the catastrophe theory of René Thom. I persisted in this way with a working paper (1995) and a book [Degos, (1996), pp.171-183]. I regret not being followed much in this way which appeared promising to me. Today, the editors of IJCA give me the opportunity to publish a part of my classic works and I chose to point out, one more time, the catastrophe theory. Statutory auditing, before and after SOX, is increasingly catastrophic in the common sense of the word, as A. Briloff showed it on numerous occasions and as it is relevant now can be time to know the exact point where it becomes, mathematically, catastrophic. This knowledge would make it possible to refine the conditions of analysis and the general approach of risks.

Keywords: agency theory; bifurcation; catastrophe theory; cusp catastrophe; dissipative systems; statutory audit; auditing; auditor behaviour; risk.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCA.2013.055481

International Journal of Critical Accounting, 2013 Vol.5 No.3, pp.288 - 300

Published online: 28 Nov 2013 *

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