Auditing Section Research Summaries Space

A Database of Auditing Research - Building Bridges with Practice

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  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    A Contemporary Analysis of Accounting Professionals'...
    research summary posted April 18, 2016 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    A Contemporary Analysis of Accounting Professionals' Work-Life Balance.
    Practical Implications:

    This study offers (1) insights into how different types of accountants perceive work-life balance and alternative work arrangements (which are supposed to fix the work-life imbalance) and (2) advice from accountants on how firms can make alternative work arrangements more effective. The findings of this study may be useful to public accounting firms (employers in industry) that wish to understand their employees’ perceptions of work-life balance and potentially implement changes to enhance their employees’ actual work-life balance.

    Citation:

    Buchheit, S., D.W. Dalton, N.L. Harp, and C.W. Hollingsworth. 2016. A Contemporary Analysis of Accounting Professionals' Work-Life Balance. Accounting Horizons 30 (1): 41-62.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    A Post-SOX Examination of Factors Associated with the Size...
    research summary posted October 31, 2013 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 01.0 Standard Setting, 01.05 Impact of SOX, 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale, 13.0 Governance, 13.01 Board/Audit Committee Composition 
    Title:
    A Post-SOX Examination of Factors Associated with the Size of Internal Audit Functions
    Practical Implications:

    This study provides insights that should be useful for CAEs and boards of directors (or audit committees) in discussions related to (1) internal audit philosophy regarding its potential contributions to an organization, (2) alternative staffing models, (3) resource allocation, and (4) embracement of audit technology. The study could also help guide external auditors’ evaluation of client internal audit functions. The authors find that the mission of internal audit functions differs from organization to organization. Additionally, the results suggest that internal audit functions used for leadership development purposes (i.e., a rotational staffing strategy) are larger, presumably because the staff have less experience and staff are rotating in and out of the department more frequently. Finally, these findings help illustrate the importance of internal audit proving that it is ‘‘value added’’ to the organization. Management and audit committees are often looking for more than financial statement compliance, and those internal audit functions that have responded to these greater needs are rewarded with more resources, likely because they are perceived to deliver more value.

    For more information on this study, please contact Karla Johnstone.
     

    Citation:

    Anderson, U. L., M. H. Christ, K. M. Johnstone, and L. E. Rittenberg. 2012. A Post-SOX Examination of Factors Associated with the Size of Internal Audit Functions. Accounting Horizons 26(2): 167-191

  • The Auditing Section
    A Theoretical Framework of the Relationship between Public...
    research summary posted May 9, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    A Theoretical Framework of the Relationship between Public Accounting Firms and Their Auditors
    Practical Implications:

    The model developed by the authors provides a theoretical foundation for understanding and exploring issues related to CPA firm and auditor employee behavior in the public accounting environment. Most important, the framework identifies factors impacting both what firms should provide to their CPA employees and how the employees may value what is provided. For example, the compensation package received by employees should include not only salaries and benefits, but also the opportunities for future development, flexibility of work and personal satisfaction.

    Citation:

    Almer, E. D., J. L. Higgs, and K. L. Hooks. 2005.  A Theoretical Framework of the Relationship between Public Accounting Firms and Their Auditors. Behavioral Research in Accounting 17: 1-22.

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  • The Auditing Section
    Accountants’ Commitment to Their Profession: Multiple D...
    research summary posted May 9, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    Accountants’ Commitment to Their Profession: Multiple Dimensions of Professional Commitment and Opportunities for Future Research
    Practical Implications:

    This paper studies professional commitment and is of importance to practitioners. The results contribute to a greater understanding of how accountants’ professional commitment forms. Most importantly, it helps practitioners to better understand how the combination of an accountant’s professional commitment and other factors influence work related outcomes (e.g. work performance, turnover intentions, job satisfaction, ethical development, etc.).

    Citation:

    Hall, M., D. Smith, and K. Langfield-Smith. 2005.  Accountants’ Commitment to Their Profession: Multiple Dimensions of Professional Commitment and Opportunities for Future Research. Behavioral Research in Accounting 17: 89-109.

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  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Antecedents and Consequences of Perceived Gender...
    research summary posted September 17, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale, 05.10 Impact of Diversity - e.g., gender - on Group Decision Making 
    Title:
    Antecedents and Consequences of Perceived Gender Discrimination in the Audit Profession.
    Practical Implications:

    The authors’ findings provide public accounting firms with critical factors that can enhance gender equality. Specifically, the findings indicate that (1) firms that offer more support from organizational leaders, (2) firms that provide higher levels of support for alternative work arrangement initiatives, and (3) firms that provide stronger ethical climates are each negatively associated with perceived gender discrimination, suggesting that organizational climate factors have a strong impact on female auditors’ perceptions of gender equality. The findings suggest that female accounting professionals must reach high-status positions within the organizational structure to substantively influence perceptions of gender equality. Public accounting firms should encourage formal and informal mentoring relationships targeting female auditors. 

    Citation:

    Dalton, D. W., J. R. Cohen, N. L. Harp, and J. J. McMillan. 2014. Antecedents and Consequences of Perceived Gender Discrimination in the Audit Profession. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory 33 (3): 1-32.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Attracting Applicants for In-House and Outsourced Internal...
    research summary posted April 18, 2016 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale, 08.0 Auditing Procedures – Nature, Timing and Extent, 08.11 Reliance on Internal Auditors, 13.0 Governance, 13.07 Internal auditor role and involvement in controls and reporting 
    Title:
    Attracting Applicants for In-House and Outsourced Internal Audit Positions: Views from External Auditors.
    Practical Implications:

    This study offers insights into why internal auditing is experiencing a shortage of qualified job candidates and offers a potential solution to the problem. The authors find that external auditors have negative perceptions about internal auditing, and these negative perceptions are associated with a (1) decreased desire to apply for internal auditing positions, (2) lower likelihood of recommending an in-house internal auditing career to high-performing students, and (3) higher likelihood of recommending an in-house internal auditing career to mediocre students. Internal auditors can try solving this problem by improving perceptions about internal auditing via a media campaign that raises awareness about the true internal audit career path.

    Citation:

    Bartlett, G.D., J. Kremin, K.K. Saunders, and D.A. Wood. 2016. Attracting Applicants for In-House and Outsourced Internal Audit Positions: Views from External Auditors. Accounting Horizons 30 (1): 143-156.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Audit and Tax Career Paths in Public Accounting: An Analysis...
    research summary posted February 24, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    Audit and Tax Career Paths in Public Accounting: An Analysis of Student and Professional Perceptions
    Practical Implications:

    Competition for talent that requires students to make a professional career-track choice at an increasingly early stage in their development can lead to harmful “job market unraveling” that has been observed in other professional fields (e.g., law, medicine).  To the extent aspiring public accountants can make well-informed career track decisions, individuals and public accounting firms should benefit from improved person-job fit.  In this study, we provide systematic survey evidence about tax versus audit career alternatives which should be helpful to future accounting professionals.  We also note that ‘career track choice prior to internship’ appears to be an increasingly prevalent aspect of the public accounting labor market that would benefit from additional research.

    For more information on this study, please contact Derek W. Dalton.

    Citation:

    Dalton, D. W., S. Buchheit and J.J. McMillan. 2014. Audit and Tax Career Paths in Public Accounting: An Analysis of Student and Professional Perceptions.  Accounting Horizons 28 (2): 213-231

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Characteristics of Relatively High-Performance Auditors
    research summary posted October 29, 2013 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale, 11.0 Audit Quality and Quality Control, 11.01 Supervision and Review – Effectiveness 
    Title:
    Characteristics of Relatively High-Performance Auditors
    Practical Implications:

    The findings of this article have implications important to both accounting firms and auditors. If pertinent behavioral skills can be learned, auditors could increase their level of performance by engaging in training to enhance those skills. CPA firms could benefit from identifying characteristics that lead to higher job performance by making those characteristics a focus in the process of hiring personnel. Existing firm employees could emphasize their understanding of the importance of taking a more comprehensive view of the auditing profession and CPA firms could emphasize hiring employees that exemplify a balance of task-oriented aspects, personality aspects, and a willingness to extend standardized tasks to ensure high auditor performance.

    For more information on this study, please contact Constance A. McKnight.
     

    Citation:

    McKnight, C.A., and W.F. Wright. 2011. Characteristics of relatively high-performance auditors. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 30 (1): 191-206.

  • The Auditing Section
    Mentoring and turnover intentions in public accounting...
    research summary posted May 4, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    Mentoring and turnover intentions in public accounting firms: A research note
    Practical Implications:

    The results of this study are important for audit firms to consider when designing their mentoring processes.  The evidence indicates that psychological mentoring programs can decrease employee turnover intentions, and that the career development mentoring can actually result in increased turnover intentions.  The latter is most likely a result of the mentee developing skills and experiences that can make the employee a more desirable candidate for employment opportunities outside of the firm.   However, the authors suggest that both types of mentoring (career development and psychological support) are important for the development of younger staff members.  They suggest that firms should be sensitive to the possible outcomes of each of these mentoring programs and that mentors be made aware of the potential effects before starting mentoring relationships.  This awareness could help mentors anticipate any of the potentially negative aspects of career development mentoring.

    Citation:

    Hall, M. and D. Smith. 2009. Mentoring and turnover intentions in public accounting firms: A research note. Accounting, Organizations and Society 34 (6): 695-704

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  • The Auditing Section
    Organizational justice and turnover in public accounting...
    research summary posted May 3, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    Organizational justice and turnover in public accounting firms: A research note
    Practical Implications:

    The results of this study are important for audit firms to consider when designing their employee evaluation processes which determine promotions and pay increases.  The evidence indicates that if employees perceive that the process is unfair and biased, they will be less committed to the accounting firm and that they will experience lower levels of job satisfaction.  The evidence also suggests that as employees experience lower levels of commitment to the accounting firm, they will be more likely to consider exploring employee opportunities outside of the accounting firm. Therefore, the authors suggest that accounting firms may be able to partially increase employee commitment to the firm by maintaining a fair process for determining promotions and pay increases, and this increase in commitment may result in decreased turnover.

    Citation:

    Parker, R. J. and J. M. Kohlmeyer III. 2005. Organizational justice and turnover in public accounting firms: a research note. Accounting, Organizations and Society 30 (4): 357-369

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