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Do Consulting Services Performed by Internal Auditors Influence Their Subsequent Assessments when Performing Assurance Services?

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research

ISBN: 978-1-78756-544-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-543-2

Publication date: 21 November 2018


This study’s purpose is to examine whether providing prior consulting services influences internal auditors’ subsequent assessments when providing assurance services to assist management in its assessment of internal control over financial reporting. A behavioral experiment is used, with internal auditors as participants. We provide some evidence that internal auditors who perform prior consulting services are less likely than others to conclude that an identified control deficiency is a material weakness, but only when the deficiency is directly related to the prior consulting services performed. Limitations include relatively small sample sizes and manipulation check failure rates that, although consistent with several prior studies, are somewhat high. If internal auditors have provided consulting services, they may want to consider limiting the assurance services provided to management that are more directly related to their consulting services. While prior studies have examined the effects of internal auditors’ role in designing internal controls on subsequent services, this is the first study to focus on the impact of providing internal audit consulting services on subsequent assurance services.




We thank the following individuals who provided feedback on our case materials: Bill Felix, Dana Hermanson, Scott Vandervelde, and David Wood. We are very appreciative of the internal audit professionals who took time to complete the case materials. We also gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments from Melissa Carlisle, Bryan Church, Bradley Pomeroy, Bill Tayler, Adam Vitalis, David Wood, and Mark Zimbelman. The chapter has also benefited from comments of workshop participants at BYU and at the 2012 Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association Annual Meeting.


Gramling, A.A., Schneider, A. and Bhaskar, L.S. (2018), "Do Consulting Services Performed by Internal Auditors Influence Their Subsequent Assessments when Performing Assurance Services?", Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research (Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research, Vol. 21), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 69-95.



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