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    Quality, Timing, and Luck: Looking Back at Ashton...
    research summary posted May 2, 2012 by The Auditing Section, last edited May 25, 2012, tagged 09.0 Auditor Judgment, 09.10 Prior Dispositions/Biases/Auditor state of mind 
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    Title:
    Quality, Timing, and Luck: Looking Back at Ashton (1974)
    Practical Implications:

    This study provides a more complete view of the state of accounting judgment/decision-making research prior to 1974, as well as the experiences of the author of the original work leading to its research and publication. The paper explicitly avoids discussion of post-1974 research that may have been influenced by Dr. Ashton’s findings.  

    The original paper was pivotal to behavioral accounting research which is motivated by the matter of how accounting influences people and how people influence accounting. 

    Citation:

    Ashton, R. H. (2010). Quality, Timing, and Luck: Looking Back at Ashton (1974). Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory 29 (1): 3-13.

    Purpose of the Study:

    In 1974 Robert H. Ashton wrote an influential article about audit judgment, entitled “An Experimental Study of Internal Control Judgments.”  His work provided researchers with perspective in the early days of accounting judgment and decision-making research.  In approximately 2009, Dr. Ashton was asked to revisit his earlier work and give his thoughts about: 

    1) The state of accounting judgment/decision-making research prior to 1974,

    2) His own experiences that lead to the research underlying the paper and its publication and,

    3) A review and analysis of post-1974 research that was influenced by the paper.

    Design/Method/ Approach:

    This paper is a review of previous literature, no empirical testing was performed.    

    Findings:
    • The author summarizes the 1974 paper.
    • A short description is given of the state of accounting judgment/decision-making research prior to 1974.
    • A personal account is stated of how Dr. Ashton came to be interested in the behavioral (psychological) aspects of accounting.  
    • The author explains how he became aware of the specific approach to understanding judgment that underlies the 1974 paper.
    • The author recounts experiences in conducting the research and publishing the paper.
    Category:
    Auditor Judgment
    Sub-category:
    Prior Dispositions/Biases/Auditor state of mind
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