Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research: Volume 14

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Table of contents

(15 chapters)

Manuscripts should be forwarded to the editor, Donna Bobek, at via e-mail. All text, tables, and figures should be incorporated into a Word document prior to submission. The manuscript should also include a title page containing the name and address of all authors and a concise abstract. Also, include a separate Word document with any experimental materials or survey instruments. If you are unable to submit electronically, please forward the manuscript along with the experimental materials to the following address:

This study seeks to further an understanding of taxpayer characteristics. The study presents a multidimensional tax locus of control (LOC) instrument developed from the starting point of a validated LOC instrument from the health-care field. Data collected using the instrument indicate that older taxpayers are more likely to have an external LOC in tax situations, indicated by a greater propensity to defer decision-making to a tax professional, defined as a “powerful other.” As the U.S. population is aging, this information may be helpful to tax practitioners when advising older clients on tax issues and researchers exploring issues related to aging. An additional finding is that taxpayers with more business exposure are less likely to defer to a tax professional. Gender and education play roles in an individual's internal tax LOC (TaxLOC) beliefs.

In this study, we develop reliable scales for measuring taxpayers' social norms toward tax compliance and explore the effect of social desirability bias and several methodological issues that may affect behavioral tax and accounting studies. This study provides theoretical specificity to a potentially “decisive” (Alm & McKee, 1998) influence on tax compliance by drawing on Cialdini and Trost's (1998) taxonomy of social norms in developing our scale items. We describe in detail the methods that we used to develop these scales. On the basis of the responses of 218 experienced taxpayers, our results identify four separate social norm dimensions that correspond with the four social norm constructs identified by Cialdini and Trost. We also consider the effect of social desirability bias and find that these effects are mild for experienced taxpayers and are not directly related to compliance intentions. Finally, we also manipulate both the order of the items presented in the experiment and the form (online or paper-based) of the experimental instrument. While order and form effects do not interfere with the interpretation of the influence of social norms on tax compliance, we do find a significant presentation order effect driven by the paper condition, which suggests that online data collection may be preferable to uncontrolled paper and pencil administration.

The purpose of this study is to identify a psychological profile for public accounting firm partners who are likely to place the partnership and client shareholder at risk. Proprietary data from an executive counseling firm provided a unique opportunity to compare two groups of partners: those identified by their senior partners as placing the firm at risk (n=31) and those not so identified (n=64). The groups were compared using psychological measures, lifestyle measures, personal measures, and work history variables. Results found no significant measurable difference between the audit partners who were identified as posing a risk and those not so identified. This suggests that specific factors cannot lead a partner to engage in risky behaviors, but rather several, in combination, may be necessary. Implications for research include learning more about concepts such as resistance to temptation, motivation, and rationalization. Implications for practice are to focus on structuring business practices to provide early warning signs and minimize opportunities to engage in risky behavior. Continued and increased diligence in the client screening and client continuation and review process remain essential for best practices.

The purpose of the current study is to examine how employees from different cultures respond to participative budgeting when the budget planning horizon is congruent or incongruent with their cultural time orientation. We conducted a 2×2 quasi-experiment in which cultural time orientation (short term or long term) was measured and budget planning horizon (short term or long term) was manipulated. A total of 164 employees participated in the experiment – 87 from China and 77 from the United States, representing long-term and short-term cultural time orientations, respectively. The results indicate that satisfaction with participative budgeting was greater when cultural time orientation and budget planning horizon were congruent, relative to incongruent. Also, the differential reaction between congruence and incongruence was less extreme for the Chinese participants than the U.S. participants, which is consistent with Confucian thought of “The Doctrine of the Mean.” The results of this study contribute to participative budgeting literature and suggest that managers who operate in different countries should be cognizant of cultural differences when employing participative budgeting processes.

The interorganizational environment faced by business organizations presents unique challenges for management accounting and control. Past management accounting research has shown interest in such collaborations because despite their benefits, such relationships pose significant issues of coordination and control. As information and communication systems supplement management control systems in their support of decision facilitation and decision influencing, examining the design of management accounting systems (MASs) in the management of interorganizational relationships and assessing how it affects the attainment of interorganizational exchange partner performance objectives is important. In this chapter, I extend past accounting research to examine the complementary nature of decision-facilitation and decision-influencing objectives of MAS design as enabled by the use of integrated information systems in interorganizational settings. The economic theory of complementarity is employed to examine synergistic effects of complementary MAS objectives. A field survey is used to examine hypothesized relationships, and data were obtained from 116 organizations involved in strategic alliance activity. This chapter reports findings that support the view that the degree of complementarity in decision-facilitation and decision-influencing objectives assists in the development of capabilities that enhance performance in the interorganizational relationship. The study blends theory in the areas of strategy, information systems, and management accounting and extends management accounting research in the context of IT-enabled interorganizational relationships.

We investigate auditor objectivity as it relates to engagement quality reviews by examining whether engagement quality reviewers (EQRs) exhibit lower levels of objectivity when they have administrative, economic, or social ties with the audit engagement partner. Motivated reasoning theory suggests that EQRs with ties to the engagement partner will reach less conservative conclusions and be more willing to accept an engagement partner's decision relative to reviewers who have no connections with the engagement partner. We conduct an experiment where EQRs must review a decision by an engagement partner related to a contingent liability.

Results suggest that engagement quality reviews are an effective mechanism for reducing the effects of engagement partner biases to accept client-favored accounting choices. Participants with ties to the engagement partner (i.e., from the same office) and without ties (i.e., from the national office) both challenged the decision of the engagement partner and recommended disclosure of a contingent liability, which client management opposed. We also find an interaction of ties with the engagement partner and the probability of the contingent liability. National office EQRs were less likely to decide that disclosure was necessary than were local office partners when the probability of the contingent liability was low. With regard to the need to recognize a liability, EQRs with and without ties to the engagement partner concurred with the decision of the engagement partner.

This chapter investigates whether jurors, in their attribution of auditor responsibility, may be inappropriately influenced by the client use of a principles-based accounting standard, even if this standard is properly applied. Following prior research on questionable auditor conduct and its subsequent evaluation by juries, which is often subject to hindsight and outcome bias, this chapter examines whether an auditor's legal liability increases when its client uses principles-based accounting standards, by conducting a controlled experiment with 124 qualified jurors serving a county circuit court. Each juror is properly instructed and provided one of four different cases, obtained by manipulating two levels of an accounting standard, one principles-based and one rules-based, and by manipulating two subsequent client-loss outcomes, one moderately negative and one severely negative. This study finds jurors evaluate auditors more negatively if auditors have relied on a principles-based accounting standard. This attribution is influenced by hindsight bias and the perceived risk-taking responsibility of the investor, but independent of the client-loss outcome severity. These results contribute to the discussion of adopting or converting to the principles-based International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) by the United States.

This study examines possible influences on the level of collaboration in published research by the most productive authors of accounting literature. Understanding the collaboration tendencies of these authors should benefit early-career-stage accounting faculty. Seven factors are examined for the publications of 93 of the most productive accounting authors. These productive authors are found to include fewer coauthors on their publications early in their careers. The number of coauthors increases through their first 16 to 17 years and then decreases through the remainder of their careers. The results also indicate that productive accounting researchers include a greater number of coauthors on more recently published articles and on longer articles. Fewer coauthors are included when a productive author is affiliated with a “top-10” university or on articles published in highly ranked accounting journals. Lastly, the results show that prolific authors seek out coauthorship throughout their careers and usually include one or more coauthors on their publications. Implications from these results and specific suggestions for accounting faculty are discussed.

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Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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