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The purpose of this project was to compare the cost of transportation engineering design services provided by private contractors versus services provided by state…
The purpose of this project was to compare the cost of transportation engineering design services provided by private contractors versus services provided by state transportation agency staff for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD). Due to shrinking budgets, staff cuts, and a trend toward privatization, state transportation agencies now outsource the majority of the services they provide. The merits of doing so, however, have been difficult to discern for lack of “apples-to-apples” comparisons. For engineering design services, this problem is particularly acute due to the uniqueness of many projects (e.g., a bridge over the Mississippi river). A simulation approach was used in this study to make “apples-to-apples” comparisons for 39 design projects, 22 in-house projects and 17 consultant projects. For each in-house design project, the cost was estimated had the work been done by a consulting firm. Similarly, for each consultant design project, the cost was estimated had the work been done by in-house staff. The result of the study was that in-house design costs were cheaper by an average of 17 to 19 percent.
The purpose of this project was to develop a systematic, objective procedure to evaluate the potential to outsource functions and activities currently performed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD). A computer-based model was developed which evaluates the qualitative and cost aspects of contracting out activities and functions. The model was applied to three activities in the LaDOTD; highway markers, highway striping, and maintenance of rest areas. The results were in line with the expectations of officials who have experienced actual outsourcing of these activities. The model was constructed so that the perspectives it considers and the criterion on which outsourcing is assessed may be altered by the user to allow its use in a variety of settings.
Accounting researchers have performed many studies related to public sector budgeting and financial management. Public sector accounting research seeks to explain the role…
Accounting researchers have performed many studies related to public sector budgeting and financial management. Public sector accounting research seeks to explain the role of accounting and auditing in the public sector. For example, researchers examine issues such as (1) the use of accounting information by elected officials, (2) the demand for auditing, and (3) the determination of bond ratings. This review of the public sector accounting literature describes some of the theoretical foundations utilized in public sector accounting research and reviews a sample of selected empirical studies.
This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications…
This research provides accounting-ethics authors and administrators with a benchmark for accounting-ethics research. While Bernardi and Bean (2010) considered publications in business-ethics and accounting’s top-40 journals this study considers research in eight accounting-ethics and public-interest journals, as well as, 34 business-ethics journals. We analyzed the contents of our 42 journals for the 25-year period between 1991 through 2015. This research documents the continued growth (Bernardi & Bean, 2007) of accounting-ethics research in both accounting-ethics and business-ethics journals. We provide data on the top-10 ethics authors in each doctoral year group, the top-50 ethics authors over the most recent 10, 20, and 25 years, and a distribution among ethics scholars for these periods. For the 25-year timeframe, our data indicate that only 665 (274) of the 5,125 accounting PhDs/DBAs (13.0% and 5.4% respectively) in Canada and the United States had authored or co-authored one (more than one) ethics article.
This paper analyzes the impact of economic downturns on the revenue and expense sides of city financing for the period 2003 to 2009 using a convenience sample of the…
This paper analyzes the impact of economic downturns on the revenue and expense sides of city financing for the period 2003 to 2009 using a convenience sample of the audited end of year financial reports for thirty midsized US cities. The analysis focuses on whether and how quickly and how extensively revenue and spending directions from past years are altered by recessions. A seven year series of Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) data serves to explore whether citiesʼ revenues and spending, especially the traditional property tax and core functions such as public safety and infrastructure withstood the brief 2001 and the persistent 2007 recessions? The findings point to consumption (spending) over stability (revenue minus expense) for the recession of 2007, particularly in 2008 and 2009.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the empirical association between expected and unexpected audit fees and reported earnings quality for a sample of Big 4(5) client…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the empirical association between expected and unexpected audit fees and reported earnings quality for a sample of Big 4(5) client companies over a period from 2000 to 2005.
The paper employs a cross‐sectional multiple regression model for a sample of 1,142 firms (6,852 firm‐years) covering a time period of six years comprising 2000 to 2005 to evaluate the relationship between both expected and unexpected audit fees and performance‐adjusted discretionary accruals that are estimated from the extended version of the modified Jones model.
The paper finds that both expected and unexpected audit fees are associated with an increase in earnings quality, as indicated by the reduction of both absolute and signed discretionary accrual adjustments. Furthermore, in some analyses these associations are found to persist into the post‐Sarbanes‐Oxley Act (SOX) period. The main results hold in sensitivity tests that involve using both the absolute and signed unexpected audit fees as independent variables and in tests that use both the absolute and signed current accruals as dependent variables of interest.
The results suggest that audit efforts consistent with client‐specific business attributes and reflected in expected audit fees mitigate financial reporting biases, the effect of which is incrementally observable to some extent in the post‐SOX period as well. Unexpected audit fees, a proxy for fee surprise arising out of auditor‐client‐specific contractual situations, are also associated with an increase in earnings quality. The association is, in some analyses, significant for the post‐SOX years. The test results do not exhibit any evidence of auditor independence problems associated with high expected and unexpected audit fees; a result that supports the “reputation protection” argument for auditors' reporting decisions.
In a time period surrounding the introduction of SOX when nonaudit consulting services have severely been restricted, and the audit fee growth for publicly traded companies have been dramatic, an analysis of this nature potentially produces valuable insights into the auditors' fee decision, audit efforts, and auditor independence issue. The study looks into a new perspective concerning the relationship between audit fees and financial reporting practice over the two regulatory regimes, pre‐ and post‐SOX.
This study provides public administrators with an introduction into research of the determinants of audit fees. A working knowledge of external audit cost determinants can…
This study provides public administrators with an introduction into research of the determinants of audit fees. A working knowledge of external audit cost determinants can help public administrators hone their evaluation skills for use in audit-procurement. Most prior research on audit cost determinants has focused on the few hundred cities in the nation with populations exceeding 50,000. As a result, this study investigated the audit costs incurred by small cities with populations less than 50,000.
Besides providing a glimpse of small-city auditing practices, the study tested the significance of the Single Audit Act in audit-fee determination. Missouri municipalities with populations between 2,000 and 50,000 provided the sample for the study. Because Missouri is one of the few states in the nation that neither legislates nor monitors municipal auditing, it represents an unregulated audit market in which town officials decide on the need for an audit, the firm to conduct the audit, and the process by which the audit firm is selected. The results of a nine-variable regression model suggested that the size of the town, the existence of a city administrator, the complexity of the town's operation, the method of accounting, the timing and completion time of the audit, and audit-firm specialization in municipal auditing were important determinants of audit fees.