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An examination of a pragmatic approach to minimizing underreporting of time

Naomy Palamanga Thiombiano (Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)
Ifeoma Udeh (Department of Accounting, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina, USA)

Managerial Auditing Journal

ISSN: 0268-6902

Article publication date: 13 August 2021

Issue publication date: 25 August 2021




This paper aims to propose and examine a pragmatic approach to minimizing auditors’ underreporting of time. Specifically, the study examines the effects of time budget pressure (TBP) and reported time use policy (RTUP) on time underreporting.


This paper uses a 2 × 2 between experimental design. The participants are 130 undergraduate accounting students and they completed a ratio-based task. The online experiment manipulated TBP and a RTUP.


This study shows a RTUP reduces time underreporting, especially when TBP is high.

Practical implications

This study is useful to audit firms because it provides a feasible solution to minimizing time underreporting.

Social implications

Studies show that firm culture affects the dysfunctional behavior of time underreporting. Consequently, this study recommends that firms influence the culture around time reporting through an upfront communication of a use policy.


Studies on time underreporting exist, but formal studies on solutions to the issue are sparse. The authors propose a solution to the issue of time underreporting, which is a RTUP.



Thiombiano, N.P. and Udeh, I. (2021), "An examination of a pragmatic approach to minimizing underreporting of time", Managerial Auditing Journal, Vol. 36 No. 6, pp. 856-871.



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