The US federal government requires auditors to follow governmental auditing standards when performing audits of entities expending significant federal government dollars…
The US federal government requires auditors to follow governmental auditing standards when performing audits of entities expending significant federal government dollars. This study explores stakeholder participation during the comment letter phase of government auditing standard setting to determine if participation is symbolic or substantive.
Researchers conduct an analysis of the 179 comment letters submitted to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and received for their 2010 and 2017 exposure drafts of government auditing standards.
The distribution of stakeholder participation groups in the government auditing standard-setting process differs from the distribution in the private company auditing standard-setting process. On average, participants submit letters that are greater than two pages in length. Participants also contribute feedback on topics that the GAO directly solicits. Taken together, the results demonstrate stakeholder behaviors that are consistent with a substantive rather than symbolic due process involvement for government auditing standards.
Stakeholder beliefs are inferred based on the observed behavior of comment letter submissions. Also, there is a subjective element to the classification of the comment letters for the study.
Given the far-reaching implications of Yellow Book auditing standards on public, private and nonprofit entities, the findings are relevant to a heterogeneous audience. This study reveals opportunities for users of government auditing standards, practitioners and academics for greater involvement in due process standard setting to bring additional legitimacy to the GAO and its standard-setting activities.
Beyond the current study, little empirical research examines Yellow Book auditing standards or the due process through which these standards are established. This is the first study to examine the complete set of comment letters for the 2010 and 2017 exposure drafts of government auditing standards.
Ethical attitudes are especially important for accounting students as they transition from higher education into a profession where continuing education requirements for…
Ethical attitudes are especially important for accounting students as they transition from higher education into a profession where continuing education requirements for ethics are pervasive across state boards. We examine if generational categorization impacts ethical attitudes. We compare 172 student responses from an ethical survey to results reported in the prior literature from 1997, 2004, and 2007. We find evidence consistent with current students becoming less tolerant of ethically questionable behavior. Also, we explore students with self-declared Certified Public Accountant (CPA) aspirations to other students revealing minimal differences. This suggests that discussions around ethical attitudes might be beneficial in the workplace as multigenerational individuals need to make subjective decisions when working together. More specifically, our study encourages the development of additional ethical vignettes that include technological innovation twists to foster more robust classroom ethics discussions as many students fail to find a significant ethical gray area with the traditional vignettes.