The auditing profession has been criticised that auditing standards favour the self-interests of a limited number of members or certain constituencies of society and not society at large. As auditing is a means of social accountability, all social constituencies have a legitimate interest in defining what is termed as generally accepted auditing standards. The state would undertake the regulatory function of auditing standard setting itself, were it not for the processes administered and managed by the self-regulating bodies. Auditing standards are therefore supplementary to legislation and can be described as quasi-legislatory. This paper examines the auditing standard setting process in South Africa and points to certain shortcomings which challenge the regulators' claims of legitimacy.