Discuss the ways in which the traditional role of an auditor has been affected by recent demands by regulatory authorities and shareholders

Recent demands by regulatory authorities and shareholders have obviously affected the traditional role of an auditor in various ways for example:
• Professional Competence and due care: an accountant must not only attain professional competence but must maintain the same. General and specific education is necessary. He must be continually aware of developments in the profession. He must exhibit care, competence and diligence.
• Professional behaviour: must act in a manner consistent with the good reputation of the profession and refrain from any conduct which might bring discredit to the profession.
• Confidentiality: must respect confidentiality of information about a client acquired in the course of rendering professional services and should not use or disclose the same without proper and specific authority.
• Integrity: entails fair dealing and truthfulness i.e. must be straight forward and honest in performing professional services.
• Technical standards: an accountant should carry out professional services in accordance with the relevant technical and professional standards. Must carry out the clients instructions with utmost care and skill.
• Objectivity: an accountant must be fair, intellectually honest and free from conflict of interest. Objectivity must be demonstrated in all circumstances.
• Whistle blowing: since the accountant has a responsibility to the public he is bound to blow the whistle whenever necessary to enable relevant bodies take the necessary action to protect the public.
• Indoor/other information about the company e.g. products, markets processes.
• Investigation: though traditionally the auditor is not an investigator unless appointed as such shareholder are demanding more and more information from them and this compels the auditor to “dig deeper” for the information. It is apparent that the traditional statements of auditors no longer appease members who have become more inquisitive.

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