Face-to-face meetings between auditors and clients are becoming increasingly more difficult and expensive to arrange, due in large part to the ceaseless expansion of commerce across the globe. Relying on electronic communication media such as e-mail messaging or video-conferencing for auditor–client inquiry purposes is one way to enhance the timeliness of such communications; however, questions arise with respect to potentially biasing influences of certain technical aspects of electronic media on auditors’ judgment and decision-making processes. Drawing on information processing theories, the current study posits that media and message attributes can interact, thereby differentially affecting auditors’ belief revisions – holding information content constant. The media attributes examined in the current study are cue multiplicity (i.e., the range of central and peripheral cues a medium is capable of transmitting) and message reprocessability (i.e., the extent of archival and retrieval features a medium is capable of handling); and the message attribute studied is evidence strength (e.g., the credibility of client-provided evidence). Research findings from a laboratory experiment with 189 graduate accounting students indicate the following: (1) when client-provided evidence is strong, neither message reprocessability nor cue multiplicity significantly affect the auditors’ belief revisions; (2) when evidence is weak and reprocessability is present, higher cue multiplicity leads to significantly greater belief revision in favor of the client; (3) when evidence is weak and reprocessability is absent, lower cue multiplicity results in significantly greater belief revision in favor of the client. Study results suggest theoretical and practical implications for globally distributed auditor–client communications.
Nöteberg, A. and Hunton, J. (2005), "Client Inquiry Via Electronic Communication Media: Does the Medium Matter?", Arnold, V. (Ed.) Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research (Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 87-112. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1475-1488(04)08004-4Download as .RIS
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