Auditing Section Research Summaries Space

A Database of Auditing Research - Building Bridges with Practice

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  • 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.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Productivity Growth in the Public Accounting Industry: The...
    research summary posted October 15, 2013 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 04.0 Independence and Ethics, 04.03 Non-Audit Services, 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale, 05.05 Diversity of Skill Sets e.g., Tenure and Experience, 08.0 Auditing Procedures – Nature, Timing and Extent, 08.09 Impact of Technology on Audit Procedures 
    Title:
    Productivity Growth in the Public Accounting Industry: The Roles of Information Technology and Human Capital
    Practical Implications:

    Given the positive effects that human capital and IT accumulation had on productivity growth, the findings of this study imply that firms seeking to improve their revenues per employee could do so by investing in more IT and human capital. The potential effects of these investments on audit quality could be beneficial when determining the level of investment to make. However, firms should keep in mind the possibility of diminishing results once a certain level of IT and human capital is accumulated. This study also has implications for the debate in the United States surrounding the Sarbanes- Oxley Act which prohibits certain non-audit services by public accounting firms. The debate stem from a concern of the effects of non-audit services on independence but this study displays the benefits that could arise if non-audit services were allowed.

    For more information on this study, please contact Hsihui Chang.
     

    Citation:

    Chang, H., J. Chen, R. Duh, and S. Li. 2011. Productivity growth in the public accounting industry: the roles of information technology and human capital. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 30 (1): 21-48.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    The Auditor-Audit Firm Relationship and Its Effect on...
    research summary posted September 17, 2013 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 05.0 Audit Team Composition, 05.04 Staff Hiring, Turnover and Morale 
    Title:
    The Auditor-Audit Firm Relationship and Its Effect on Burnout and Turnover Intention
    Practical Implications:

    Turnover and burnout represent real costs to accounting firms. This study, however, highlights several steps that can be taken to reduce these costs. When making decisions, firms should (1) solicit employee input in decision making, (2) ensure that appropriate criteria are used and applied consistently across employees, and (3) provide explanations for why decisions are made.

    For more information on this study, please contact David Herda.
     

    Citation:

    Herda, D. N. and Lavelle, J. J. 2012. The Auditor-Audit Firm Relationship and Its Effect on Burnout and Turnover Intention. Accounting Horizons 26 (4): 707-723.

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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