Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research: Volume 16
Table of contents(17 chapters)
List of Contributors
Companies frequently use Internet Financial Reporting (IFR) to distribute financial and nonfinancial information to stakeholders. Research suggests that companies often distribute information via the web for impression management purposes in order to diffuse potential negative reactions and/or to promote positive reactions to corporate policies and actions. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether web disclosure of environmental information and the presentation format influences the outcomes of litigation awards. Results indicate that even a partial web disclosure of pending environmental sanctions on a company’s financial statement reduces the compensatory and punitive damages that jurors award when shareholders suffer losses as a result of environmental sanctions. The results also indicate that firms using enhanced presentation formats when disclosing environmental information further reduce the amount of damages awarded against them. These results have implications for users and preparers of IFR, and for policy makers weighing mandates for disclosure of nonfinancial information in annual reports.
Commentators express concern that when auditors investigate for but fail to detect fraud, jurors might effectively penalize the auditors for having investigated for the fraud (AICPA, 2004; Coffee, 2004; Golden, Skalak, & Clayton, 2006). Consistent with these concerns, Reffett (2010) finds that, in a between-participants setting, evaluators in cases of undetected fraud are more likely to hold auditors liable for damages when the auditors identified the perpetrated fraud as a fraud risk and then investigated for the fraud, relative to when the auditors did neither. What remains unclear, however, is the extent to which identifying versus investigating fraud risks increases evaluators’ between-participants assessments of auditor liability. That is, when auditors investigate for, but fail to detect fraud, is the increase in evaluators’ liability assessments due to the fact that the auditors identified (i.e., were aware of) the fraud risk but did not detect the fraud, or that the auditors unsuccessfully investigated for the fraud (or both)? This study addresses these questions by reporting evidence that both identifying and investigating fraud risks can each, in isolation, increase evaluators’ perceptions of auditor negligence. The processes by which identifying and investigating fraud risks increase evaluators’ negligence verdicts, however, appear to differ.
Offshoring is the process of using unaffiliated foreign companies or affiliated offshore entities (AOEs) to manufacture goods or perform services. The Big 4 public accounting firms offshore tax services (Houlder, 2007) and, more recently, have started to offshore audit tasks of their U.S.-based clients to AOEs located in India (Daugherty & Dickins, 2009). While the benefits of offshoring might be substantial, there are also costs associated with moving domestic work to foreign locations. One of these costs may be greater damage awards in lawsuits involving an audit failure where audit tasks were performed overseas as opposed to the United States. This study investigates that possibility by experimentally examining the effect of offshoring audit tasks requiring different levels of judgment on the amount of damages awarded by potential jurors as a result of an audit failure. The results show potential jurors awarded greater damages against the auditor when audit tasks were performed offshore than when they were performed in the United States. There was no effect of the level of judgment of the audit task on damages awarded. Since this study examines offshoring to only one location, India, results may not be generalizable to other offshore locations.
We examine the effect of peer honesty on focal manager honesty in a budget reporting setting. We disclose peer honesty to the focal manager at three levels: no, partial, and full disclosure of the reporting behavior of the other managers in the focal managers’ cohort. In partial disclosure, only the reports of the least honest peers are disclosed to the focal manager. In full disclosure, all managers’ reports in the cohort are disclosed to the focal manager. We predict and find that disclosure of other managers’ reports leads to less honesty compared to the absence of disclosure. We show that disclosure changes the focal manager’s perceptions of what constitutes acceptable reporting behavior, such that reporting more dishonestly becomes more acceptable. Our results have implications for understanding fraud dynamics and have practical implications for the design of control systems, as they suggest that managers will use peer dishonesty to justify their own dishonesty, even when they know that only some of their peers report dishonestly.
This study explores the influence individual characteristics identified in prior research have on ethical choice in a financial reporting task. An action-based, multi-metric dependent variable is developed to measure ethical reporting choice. Intermediate accounting students participate in the task as part of a curricular assignment in a revenue recognition module. Results demonstrate that several, but not all, individual characteristics found in prior research do influence accounting students’ ethical revenue recognition choices. Specifically, the external locus-of-control, idealism, consequentialist, and Machiavellian characteristics are found to influence ethical reporting choice.
This chapter investigates the effect of moral reasoning of tax professionals on the aggressiveness of their reporting recommendations. The findings of the study indicate moral reasoning influences the aggressiveness of tax reporting decisions separate from the influence of client pressure. As the level of moral reasoning increases, the aggressiveness of the reporting position is found to0 decrease. Contrary to prior research, client pressure is not related to tax reporting aggressiveness. Failure to observe this relationship may signal a shift in behavior resulting from the intense public and regulatory scrutiny at the time of data collection which was in the immediate aftermath of the Enron scandal.
Prior studies investigating the relationship between moral reasoning (as measured by the defining issues test, DIT) and political orientation have rendered mixed results. We seek to find an explanation for these mixed results. Using responses from a sample of 284 practicing certified public accountants (CPAs), we find evidence that value preferences underlie both moral reasoning and political orientation. Specifically, we find a statistically significant inverse relationship between moral reasoning and conservatism in univariate tests. However, this relationship is no longer significant when eight individual value preferences and gender are taken into account. These results suggest that variations in moral reasoning scores of CPAs are accounted for by their value preferences, which also underlie their relative conservatism.
This study examines whether Revenue Procedure 2003-61 is an improvement over Revenue Procedure 2000-15, in the areas of taxpayers’ expectations for IRS equitable relief decisions and gender-related in-group bias. The survey instrument includes a vignette adapted from a judicial decision. The results show that Rev. Proc. 2003-61 does improve upon Rev. Proc. 2000-15. Furthermore, taxpayers perceive different expectations of what the IRS should do and what the IRS would do in equitable relief decision making. Also, gender-related in-group biases are found to be present for both genders. Tax policy implications regarding equitable relief are discussed.
The objective of this research study is to investigate the impact of auditor dismissals and resignations on commercial lending decisions. The study also examines whether a reason given for a dismissal or resignation affects commercial lending decisions. Eighty-five commercial loan officers were given a scenario involving a hypothetical company loan applicant and were first asked to assess the level of risk associated with granting a line of credit. Next, they were asked to assess the probability that they would grant the line of credit. Five different questionnaire versions were created by varying information about an auditor change and the reason for the change. The study finds that risk assessments of and the probability of granting credit to the applicant company do not significantly differ due to knowledge about auditor changes. In addition, participants did not view auditor resignations differently than auditor dismissals. Finally, disclosure of a disagreement as a reason for an auditor change did not have an impact on lending decisions.
- Publication date
- Book series
- Advances in Accounting Behavioural Research
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN