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  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Consequences of Big Data and Formalization on Accounting and...
    research summary posted September 21, 2015 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 01.0 Standard Setting, 01.01 Changes in Reporting Formats, 01.02 Changes in Audit Standards, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions 
    Title:
    Consequences of Big Data and Formalization on Accounting and Auditing Standards.
    Practical Implications:

    In light of cost reductions in data generation, storage, retrieval, and transmission, the inherent compromises within the paper paradigm are of little benefit. Users are entitled to more in-depth, granular values that they can manipulate, drilling down and up for more or less detail where needed. Financial reporting standards that govern presentation and arbitrary aggregation must likewise give way to rules regarding the limits and frequency of data transmission, as well as the quality of those data. 

    Audit standards must change as well. Error detection and risk quantification are no longer sufficient targets, but must be seen as small components of an audit of broader scope. The deep analysis of tremendous volumes of data and potentially thousands of exception reports necessitates a different paradigm of reporting and assurance. The role of auditing standards, far from being diminished in the face of increasing automation, must shift from governing sampling procedures to embracing the broader, deeper data availability and analysis of the modern era in an effort to create a better, more thorough audit.

    Citation:

    Krahel, J. P., and W. R. Titera. 2015. Consequences of Big Data and Formalization on Accounting and Auditing Standards. Accounting Horizons 29 (2): 409-422.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Group Audits, Group-Level Controls, and Component...
    research summary posted December 1, 2014 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.01 Audit Scope and Materiality Judgments, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions 
    Title:
    Group Audits, Group-Level Controls, and Component Materiality: How Much Auditing Is Enough?
    Practical Implications:

    The proposed component materiality method helps the group auditor develop and document a rational plan for achieving the group assurance objective that is rooted in applicable auditing standards and decision theory.

    The significant differences in results between the proposed method and the alternatives suggest the need for guidance more definitive than that provided by current auditing standards. Indeed, the authors’ approach could be a useful metric for evaluating the efficacy of methods that do not have as comprehensive a supporting theory.

    Field deployment of the proposed method requires software support. A specific implementation is available as an Excel app at http://raw.rutgers.edu/GUAMcalc.

    For more information on this study, please contact Trevor Stewart at trsny@verizon.net.

    Citation:

    Stewart, Trevor R., and William R. Kinney, Jr. 2013. Group Audits, Group-Level Controls, and Component Materiality: How Much Auditing Is Enough? The Accounting Review 88 (2): 707-737.

  • Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips
    Financial Statement Disaggregation Decisions and Auditors’ T...
    research summary posted April 28, 2014 by Jennifer M Mueller-Phillips, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.01 Audit Scope and Materiality Judgments, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions 
    Title:
    Financial Statement Disaggregation Decisions and Auditors’ Tolerance for Misstatement
    Practical Implications:

    The findings of this study are relevant to financial reporting standard-setters and regulators interested in the effects of financial statement presentation standards on the reliability of the information presented, to auditing standard-setters and regulators who have a responsibility to clarify auditors’ responsibility for misstatement in disaggregated numbers, and to audit firms that must provide guidance to ensure consensus in their auditors’ judgments. Standard-setters should also consider the fact that FASB has also been considering issues related to balance sheet aggregation or netting of balances. As a consequence, the importance of the effects of aggregation on auditors’ materiality judgments may be broader than the focus of the current study.

    For more information on this study, please contact Robert Libby.
     

    Citation:

    Libby, R., and T. Brown. 2013. Financial Statement Disaggregation Decisions and Auditors’ Tolerance for Misstatement. The Accounting Review 88 (2).

  • The Auditing Section
    Effects of Qualitative Factor Salience, Expressed Client...
    research summary posted May 7, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.01 Audit Scope and Materiality Judgments, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions 
    Title:
    Effects of Qualitative Factor Salience, Expressed Client Concern, and Qualitative Materiality Thresholds on Auditors’ Audit Adjustment Decisions
    Practical Implications:

    Individual auditors have wide variations in the materiality thresholds the auditors use to assess qualitative materiality.  Greater clarity in materiality guidance can potentially reduce the variability in auditors’ materiality threshold judgments pertaining to qualitative materiality factors.

    Citation:

    Ng, T. B-P and H. T. Tan. 2007. Effects of qualitative factor salience, expressed client concern, and qualitative materiality thresholds on auditors’ audit adjustment decisions. Contemporary Accounting Research 24 (4): 1171-92.

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  • The Auditing Section
    Accountability and auditors’ materiality judgments: The e...
    research summary posted May 3, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.01 Audit Scope and Materiality Judgments, 09.02 Documentation Specificity, 09.11 Auditor judgment in the workpaper review process, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions, 10.03 Interaction among Team Members 
    Title:
    Accountability and auditors’ materiality judgments: The effects of differential pressure strength on conservatism, variability, and effort.
    Practical Implications:

    Firms should consider the levels of accountability pressure and situations where they use them and consider how different levels of pressure may impact performance.  Higher levels of accountability pressure may increase effectiveness and increase the likelihood of finding material misstatements. 

    On the other hand, increased effectiveness and time spent due to higher levels of accountability pressure may cause inefficiencies and result in unnecessary effort.  Firms should evaluate the costs and benefits for their situations. 

    The authors note that this study only looks at the effect of accountability pressure from an unknown partner.  In the real world, auditors have accountability pressures from many levels such as other superiors, clients, regulators, and audit committees. 
    Further, the auditor may have assessed things differently if they knew the partner that was performing their review.

    Citation:

    DeZoort, T., P. Harrison, and M. Taylor. 2006.  Accountability and auditors’ materiality judgments: The effects of differential pressure strength on conservatism, variability, and effort.  Accounting, Organizations, and Society 31 (4-5):  373-390. 

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  • The Auditing Section
    Auditors’ Decisions on Audit Differences that Affect S...
    research summary posted April 16, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.01 Audit Scope and Materiality Judgments, 09.08 Evaluation of Errors – Statistical and Non-statistical, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions 
    Title:
    Auditors’ Decisions on Audit Differences that Affect Significant Earnings Thresholds
    Practical Implications:

    The results of this study are important for auditors to consider when making materiality judgments.  The evidence indicates that auditors are more likely to overlook the qualitative importance of adjustments that affect a client’s ability to meet or beat analysts’ forecasts.  Furthermore, findings suggest that auditors are more lenient with subjective audit differences.  The study suggests that providing auditors with guidance on qualitative materiality may improve materiality judgments, but it does not completely alleviate the differences among the earnings benchmarks. 

    Citation:

    Ng, T.B. 2007. Auditors’ Decisions on Audit Differences that Affect Significant Earnings Thresholds. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 26 (1): 71-89.

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  • The Auditing Section
    A Review and Integration of Empirical Research on...
    research summary posted April 13, 2012 by The Auditing Section, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.01 Audit Scope and Materiality Judgments, 10.0 Engagement Management, 10.02 Materiality and Scope Decisions 
    Title:
    A Review and Integration of Empirical Research on Materiality: Two Decades Later
    Practical Implications:

    The results of the studies documented in this review suggest that there is a great deal of variability in the approaches taken by firms for establishing materiality. Such differences in materiality methods can affect both the effectiveness and efficiency of audits. For example, if firms differ in how they allocate materiality to financial statement accounts, then the scope of the work could differ across audits with similar characteristics. Auditors also appear to differ in terms of the factors they consider for determining the materiality of internal control weaknesses, suggesting that auditors may need more structured criteria to make materiality judgments about internal control weaknesses. Materiality judgments are influenced by authoritative guidance, suggesting that standard setters and audit firms have the ability to influence auditors’ materiality judgments by providing auditors with specific guidance.

    Citation:

    Messier, Jr., W.F., N. Martinov-Bennie, and A. Eilifsen. 2005. A review and integration of empirical research on materiality: Two decades later. Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory 24 (2): 153-187.

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