The paper explores the origins of the auditing profession in the United States. It is suggested that the development of the audit function in this country can be traced to reporting by internal and shareholder auditors in the American railroads during the middle of the nineteenth century. Evidence is presented that a recognition of the need for audit independence existed, and that the provision of advisory services and reports on internal control by American auditors have been an inherent part of the auditor's role from that time.

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