Behavioral Research in Auditing
2012 AAA Auditing Doctoral Consortium
E. Michael Bamber
J.M. Tull School of Accounting
The University of Georgia
Outline
 Perspective: 1999 vs. 2011
 Publishing BAuR
 Sources of research questions
 Examples
 Methodology issues
Publishing Trends - Numbers
1999
2011
%
Increase
22
73
232
# of Auditing Papers
7
9
29
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
3
3
0
The Accounting Review
# of Papers
Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
# of Papers
# of Auditing Papers
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
Publishing Trends - Numbers
1999
2010
%
Increase
22
72
227
# of Auditing Papers
7
15
114
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
3
7
133
The Accounting Review
# of Papers
Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
# of Papers
# of Auditing Papers
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
Publishing Trends - Numbers
1999
2011
%
Increase
22
73
232
# of Auditing Papers
7
9
29
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
3
3
0
The Accounting Review
# of Papers
Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
# of Papers
17
43
153
# of Auditing Papers
17
43
153
8
21
163
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
Publishing Trends - Numbers
1999
2011
%
Increase
22
73
232
# of Auditing Papers
7
9
29
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
3
3
0
The Accounting Review
# of Papers
Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory
# of Papers
17
43
153
# of Auditing Papers
17
43
153
8
21
163
38
65
71
# of Behavioral Auditing Papers
Consortium Participants
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Year
Journal
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
2011
AJPT
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
2011
AJPT
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
2011
TAR
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
2011
AJPT
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
2011
TAR
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
2011
TAR
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
2011
AJPT
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
2011
TAR
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
2011
TAR
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
1999
AJPT
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
2011
AJPT
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
2011
TAR
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
2011
TAR
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
1999
AJPT
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
1999
AJPT
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
Publishing Trends - Topics
Title
Year
Journal
The Audit Risk Model, Business Risk and Audit-Planning Decisions
1999
TAR
The Audit Review Process and Sensitivity to Information Source
Objectivity
1999
AJPT
How Partners’ Views Influence Auditor Judgment
2011
AJPT
Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to
the Strategic Risk of Fraud
2011
TAR
How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures
2011
TAR
The Role of Problem Representation Shifts on Auditor Decision
Processes
1999
AJPT
The Effects of Fee Pressure and Client Risk on Audit Seniors’ Time
Budget Decisions
1999
AJPT
Does Time Constraint Lead to Poorer Audit Performance: Effects
of Forewarning of Impending Time Constraints and Instructions
2011
AJPT
Publishing Trends – TAR 2011
 “The Effect of Using the Internal Audit Function
as a Management Training Ground on the
External Auditor’s Reliance Decisions,” W. F.
Messier, Jr., J. K. Reynolds, C. A. Simon, and D.
A. Wood (November 2011)
 “Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and
Auditor Sensitivity to the Strategic Risk of
Fraud,” K. Bowlin (July 2011)
 “How a Systems Perspective Improves
Knowledge Acquisition and Performance in
Analytical Procedures,” B. E. Brewster (May
2011)
A Publishable Paper Provides
Insights That Are:
 New – Cause belief revision
 Interesting – Belief revision is
consequential
 True
 Clear
Deciding on a Topic
Prior literature
Innovations in practice
Psychology theory
Prior Literature
 Critically evaluate prior research
(Sources: SSRN, Web of Science,
AAA and conference websites)





What is the question?
What is the research method?
What is the punchline?
Critique.
What would we still like to know?
Prior Literature
 Build a framework
 How do the prior papers fit together?
 Distill stylized facts: What do we think
we know?
 Identify research opportunities: What
would we like to know?
 Rely on others


Existing literature reviews and
frameworks
Calls for research
Prior Literature - Examples
 Nelson, M. 2009. A model and literature
review of professional skepticism in
auditing. Auditing: A Journal of Practice
and Theory 28(2): 1-34.
 Framework for classifying failures in
professional skepticism (PS): More
important antecedents?
 Definition of PS: Presumptive doubt?
 Influence of traits and incentives?
 “Justifiable inefficiencies”
 Incentives to avoid? Interventions to highlight
and reward?
Prior Literature - Examples
 Hammersley, J. S. 2011. A Review and
Model of Auditor Judgments in FraudRelated Planning Tasks. Auditing: A
Journal of Practice & Theory 30(4): 102128
 Fraud knowledge obtained primarily from
training rather than experience
 Antecedents to effectively perform fraud
related tasks?
 Conditions under which auditors do/do not
respond to risk?
Prior Literature – Calls for
Research
 AJPT Special Calls (The Auditor’s
Report Fall 2011)
 Conservatism in auditing
 Research on environmental assurance
and auditing
 Qualitative studies in auditing
 Audit market structure, competition, and
audit quality
Innovations in Practice
 Carefully read and analyze the practice literature
(Sources: AICPA, PCAOB, SEC, Accounting firms)
 One-on-one communications
 Distill state of practice: Where would the
profession like to be?
 Identify research opportunities: Improve
practice?


E.g., Carpenter, T. 2007. Audit team brainstorming,
fraud risk identification, and fraud risk assessment:
Implications of SAS No. 99. The Accounting Review 82
(5): 1119-1140.
Messier, W.F., T.M. Kozloski, and N. Kochetova-Kozloski.
2010. An analysis of SEC and PCAOB enforcement
actions against engagement quality reviewers. Auditing:
A Journal of Practice & Theory 29(2): 232-252.
Innovations in Practice Examples
 PCAOB Standards
 New
 Risk Assessment Standards AS Nos. 8-15
 Proposed
 Communications with Audit Committees
(Comment period open)
 Future
 The Auditors’ Reporting Model (Issue proposed
standard in 2012)
 Auditor Independence, Objectivity, and
Professional Skepticism (2012 Agenda)
Innovations in Practice Examples
 PCAOB Inspection Reports
 Report on Observations of PCAOB Inspectors
Related to Audit Risk Areas Affected by the
Economic Crisis (Sept. 2010)
 Fair value assumptions – failure to test beyond
inquiry of management
 Fair values – failure to reconcile inconsistencies
between management and third party estimates
 Revenue recognition - failure to respond to
specific risks, including risk of fraud
Innovations in Practice
 Approach:




Why/What?
Process
Antecedents and Outcomes
Interventions
Psych Theory
 Coursework, esp. non-accounting
 Read the literature, esp. literature
reviews and seminal papers
 Citation searches for most recent work
 Examples
 Wilks, T. J. 2002. Predecisional distortion of
evidence as a consequence of real-time
audit review. The Accounting Review
77(1):51-72
 Organizational Identity Theory, Small Group
Theory, Social Identity Theory, Construal
Level Theory
Developing the Topic
 Goal: a publishable paper
 Consequential belief revision in
behavioral auditing will likely require
integration of all three:
 Prior auditing literature – New – moving
literature forward
 Practice – Interesting – others care
about the topic
 Theory – New and Interesting –
results are generalizable/consequential
Methodology – True



“The Effect of Using the Internal Audit Function as a Management
Training Ground on the External Auditor’s Reliance Decisions”

Archival analysis and behavioral experiment

1 X 3 Design

Norwegian auditors
“Risk-Based Auditing, Strategic Prompts, and Auditor Sensitivity to the
Strategic Risk of Fraud”

Audit game based on experimental economics

2 X 2 X 2 mixed design

Students
“How a Systems Perspective Improves Knowledge Acquisition and
Performance in Analytical Procedures”

Several techniques to develop participants’ mental models

2 X 2 between-subject design

Students
Methodology – True
 Straightforward designs
 1X3, 2X2X2, 2X2
 Facilitates interpretation of results and
internal and external validity
 Randomization vs. control
 Messier et al. 8 control variables in unexpected
audit fee model vs. 1X3 experiment
 Something novel
 Messier et al. – archival and experimental
components
 Bowlin – experimental economics game
 Brewster – develop mental models
Methodology – True
 Participants
 The big issue, cycles
 Local vs. national
 Students
 Experimental economics game – accepted
 Justification in other experiments:


Lynch, A. L., U. S. Murthy, and T. J. Engle. 2009. Fraud
brainstorming using computer-mediated
communication: The effects of brainstorming technique
and facilitation. The Accounting Review 84(4): 12091232
Brewster, B. E. 2011. “How a Systems Perspective
Improves Knowledge Acquisition and Performance in
Analytical Procedures,” B. E. Brewster. The Accounting
Review 86(3): 915-943
Conclusion
 Publishable topics?
 Yes, more than ever (SOX, PCAOB
standards agenda & inspection reports)
 Journal interest?
 Yes, in select journals (TAR, AJPT, CAR,
AOS)
 Top tier
 Publishable paper?
 New, interesting, true, and clear
 Importance of topic selection process