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The purpose of this paper is to investigate practicing auditors' beliefs regarding the effect of prior involvement on the occurrence of quality threatening behaviour (QTB…
The purpose of this paper is to investigate practicing auditors' beliefs regarding the effect of prior involvement on the occurrence of quality threatening behaviour (QTB) during an audit. The authors examine the extent to which auditors' beliefs about QTB are consistent with the theoretical framework of Kanodia et al., according to which prior involvement in audit work would increase the likelihood of auditors suppressing evidence inconsistent with earlier audit decisions.
The authors conduct an experiment in which auditors assess the likelihood of perceived reputation threats associated with encountering disconfirming evidence late in the audit, and the likelihood that such evidence will be suppressed.
Auditors participating in the study believe that prior involvement will induce a perception of personal reputation threats in an auditor encountering evidence inconsistent with the conclusions of earlier audit work. Participants perceive an auditor with prior involvement in the audit work to be more likely to suppress audit evidence than an auditor with no prior involvement; this effect is largely explained by the personal reputation threats believed to be induced by prior involvement.
The findings provide important information, from the perspective of practicing auditors, about a situational antecedent of QTB that is present on most audit engagements. Prior involvement is perceived by auditors to induce a conflict of interest in reporting troublesome evidence uncovered late in the audit. These perceptions suggest it is important to raise reviewers' awareness of the possibility of undesirable behavior in such situations. Potential limitations of the study relate to generalizability of the results under different levels of misstatement risk and under different environments in audit practice. Also, the authors do not measure auditors' actual behaviour, but their assessment of hypothetical situations and beliefs about others' actions. Future research can examine actual auditor behaviour in the presence of prior involvement.
The paper provides evidence on auditors' beliefs about the effects on QTB of prior involvement, a factor that has not been previously studied in this line of research. The authors show that auditors' beliefs about QTB are consistent with Kanodia et al.'s theoretical framework. The study is the first to measure auditors' assessments of perceived reputation threats and to show their mediating effect on the predicted behavior of audit professionals.
This paper aims to study the effects of two different types of state skepticism prompts, as well as the effect of the trait of professional skepticism on auditor cognitive…
This paper aims to study the effects of two different types of state skepticism prompts, as well as the effect of the trait of professional skepticism on auditor cognitive performance in a hypothesis-testing task. It examines the effect of a professional skepticism prompt, based on the presumptive doubt view of professional skepticism, as well as the effect of a cheater-detection prompt, based on social contracts theory.
Seventy-eight audit students and 85 practising auditors examine an audit case and determine the evidence needed to test the validity of a management's assertion in a Wason selection task. The experiment manipulates the presence of a professional skepticism prompt and the presence of a cheater-detection prompt. The personality trait of professional skepticism is measured with Hurtt's scale.
The presence of a professional skepticism prompt improves cognitive performance in the sample of students, but not in the sample of auditors. The presence of a cheater-detection prompt has no significant effect on performance in the student or auditor sample. The personality trait of professional skepticism is a significant predictor of cognitive performance in the sample of students but not in the sample of auditors.
Results suggest that increasing the states of skepticism or suspicion toward the client firm's management may have no incremental effect on the normative hypothesis testing performance of experienced auditors. However, actively encouraging skeptical mindsets in novice auditors is likely to improve their cognitive performance in hypothesis testing tasks.
The study is the first to examine the joint effects of two specific types of state skepticism prompts, a professional skepticism prompt and a cheater-detection prompt, as well as the effect of the personality trait of professional skepticism, on auditor cognitive performance in a hypothesis-testing task. The study contributes to the literature by bringing together the psychology theory of social contracts and auditing research on professional skepticism, to examine auditors' reasoning performance in a hypothesis-testing task.
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 study aims to explore the effect of negotiating audit differences on auditors’ internal control deficiency (ICD) severity assessments, an ensuing, non-negotiated…
This study aims to explore the effect of negotiating audit differences on auditors’ internal control deficiency (ICD) severity assessments, an ensuing, non-negotiated judgment, in an integrated audit.
The experiment manipulates the client’s concession timing strategy as either immediate or gradual, holding the outcome constant. A total of 34 auditors (primarily managers) resolve an audit difference with the client.
The client’s concession timing strategy during the negotiation of an audit difference spills over to affect auditors’ severity assessment of a related ICD. Auditors judged the ICD severity to be higher (lower) in the immediate (gradual) condition. Client retention risk inferences mediate this effect.
The effect on auditors’ ICD severity assessments may not ultimately affect the audit report. Participants did not control their negotiation strategy, allowing the client’s negotiation strategy and the outcome to be held constant; it is possible that interactive effects between the client and auditor’s strategy might affect the study’s implications.
Features of the auditor–client negotiation process may influence auditors’ downstream, post-negotiation judgments and may therefore help to explain empirical evidence and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board inspection findings that show auditors often fail to identify an internal control material weakness after identifying a financial statement misstatement.
This paper expands current negotiation research by exploring the impact of inferences made based on counterparty concession strategy for downstream, non-negotiated judgments and current integrated audit research by identifying client retention perceptions as a driving factor of lower ICD severity assessments.