• Literature review: The impact of auditor interactions on audit quality

      Cardinaels, Eddy; Reusen, Evelien; Goris, Jeffrey; Stouthuysen, Kristof (2020)
      The judgment and decision-making literature in auditing largely focuses on individual auditor judgments. However, auditors do not work in isolation. They interact with other auditors in audit engagements and with other participants in the financial reporting process. For this reason, scholars have called for more research on how the people, tasks, and environment that auditors interact with influence their performance and hence, the audit quality of their work (Nelson & Tan, 2005; Trotman, Bauer & Humphreys, 2015). This review identifies three specific issues related to these influences that, we believe, warrant additional research and consideration. The first two issues relate to between-auditor interactions within the audit firm. The third issue relates to interactions with groups outside the firm
    • Practice note: Copycat behavior by junior auditors – The impact of their senior’s working style and the role of promotion incentives

      Cardinaels, Eddy; Reusen, Evelien; Goris, Jeffrey; Stouthuysen, Kristof (2020)
      As a key attribute to audit quality, regulators specify that more experienced staff (i.e. managers, senior auditors) should provide less experienced staff with appropriate coaching and on-the-job training (IAASB 2014). It is fairly common for junior auditors to start their auditing career by mimicking a more senior person who performs similar tasks; as the saying goes, “Monkey see, monkey do” (Cannon, 2016). Yet, while imitation is an inherent human tendency, limited evidence exists on the impact of such imitative behavior on the quality of an individual auditor’s judgment. The objective of our research project is to examine the extent to which mimicking behavior occurs in junior–senior auditor relationships and its consequences for audit quality. In particular, we advance the argument that this imitation tendency may lead junior auditors to follow seniors’ auditing practices, even when those practices are not always ideal. We also examine whether promotion opportunities for the junior can be an important contributor in mimicking an audit style of a senior (which in turn would affect audit quality). The tendency to imitate their senior – even though his working practices might not be ideal - might be higher when the direct senior has a strong voice in the promotion decision of the junior. The findings of this study are expected to provide valuable insights and r recommendations for practice
    • Practice note: Imitatiegedrag bij junior auditors: De impact van de werkstijl van de senior en de rol van promotiedruk

      Cardinaels, Eddy; Reusen, Evelien; Goris, Jeffrey; Stouthuysen, Kristof (2020)
      Om audit kwaliteit te waarborgen, hebben meer ervaren auditors (i.e., senior auditors) de taak om minder ervaren auditors (i.e., junior auditors) tijdig te beoordelen en te voorzien van gepaste coaching en ‘on-the-job’ training (IAASB 2014). Het geven van het goede voorbeeld door de senior is hierbij belangrijk, zeker wanneer we erkennen dat junior auditors in het begin van hun carrière vaak geneigd zijn het gedrag en de werkstijl van senior auditors te imiteren. Hoewel het imiteren van anderen deel uitmaakt van het menselijke gedrag, hebben we tot op heden nog maar weinig inzicht in hoe imitatiegedrag de oordeelsvorming bij junior auditors beïnvloedt. Het doel van dit onderzoeksproject is om de rol van imitatiegedrag in junior-senior auditor relaties na te gaan en inzicht te krijgen in de gevolgen hiervan op auditkwaliteit. Tegelijkertijd onderzoeken we ook hoe promotiedruk dit imitatiegedrag kan versterken. De neiging van junior auditors om hun senior te imiteren – zelfs wanneer deze laatste zijn werkstijl niet in lijn is met de verwachte professioneelkritische houding – kan meer uitgesproken zijn wanneer de senior auditor een doorslaggevende stem heeft bij toekomstige promotiebeslissingen. De bevindingen van deze studie zullen leiden tot waardevolle inzichten voor het wereldwijde auditberoep.