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Undergraduate business students’ perception of auditing: impact of proximity and knowledge on auditors’ stereotype

Marcela Espinosa-Pike (Department of Financial Economics, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain)
Edurne Aldazabal (Department of Financial Economics, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain)
Itsaso Barrainkua (Department of Financial Economics, University of the Basque Country, Bilbao, Spain)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 22 July 2021

Issue publication date: 10 August 2021

283

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore undergraduate students’ stereotypes of auditing and the influence of knowledge of the profession and its sources on the stereotype.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on a questionnaire distributed among 360 undergraduate business students at 21 higher education institutions in Spain.

Findings

The study reveals that undergraduate business students consider auditors competent and ethical. Auditing is viewed as an interesting and rigorous activity, which requires high responsibility and contributes significantly to society. Students perceive that the auditing career is difficult but contributes to professional development. The knowledge acquired through business studies influences the creation of a positive image of the profession and of auditors.

Practical implications

The profession could benefit from the fact that having more information about the profession improves students’ perceptions of it. The provision of auditing courses through the degree and related activities to increase the visibility of the profession during the first years of the degree could improve the auditor stereotype and enhance students’ intentions to enter this profession.

Originality/value

Previous studies have analyzed the image of the accounting professional as a homogeneous professional status. This study specifically addresses the image of auditors, who are at the core of the traditional accounting domain. It analyzes the influence of sources of knowledge (academic training, having familiars and media) on auditors’ stereotypes. Moreover, it provides evidence concerning the perceptions of the new generations (Gen Z).

Keywords

Citation

Espinosa-Pike, M., Aldazabal, E. and Barrainkua, I. (2021), "Undergraduate business students’ perception of auditing: impact of proximity and knowledge on auditors’ stereotype", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 36 No. 5, pp. 699-723. https://doi.org/10.1108/MAJ-07-2020-2739

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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