Title page for ETD etd-05062010-153513

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Reed, Tracy Nelson
URN etd-05062010-153513
Title The Effect of Process Accountability on the Evaluation of Audit Evidence: An Examination of the Audit Review Process
Degree PhD
Department Accounting and Information Systems
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jenkins, James Gregory Committee Chair
Bhattacharjee, Sudip Committee Member
Kumar, Raman Committee Member
Oler, Mitchell J. Committee Member
Salbador, Debra A. Committee Member
  • Audit Efficiency
  • Client Risk
  • Audit Effectiveness
  • Accountability
  • Audit Review
Date of Defense 2010-05-03
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation examines the effect of accountability and client risk on auditor efficiency and effectiveness during an audit review task. I considered two types of accountability. The first type is outcome accountability, which represents the type of accountability in the current audit review process. The second type of accountability is process accountability, which is not currently utilized in the audit review process. I also examined two levels of client risk (high and low) because client risk has been shown to impact efficiency and effectiveness of the audit review process. An internet-based experimental instrument was utilized for this study. Participants were practicing auditors.

Findings indicate that process accountability improved performance by exhibiting both an increase in identification of errors and a decrease in likelihood of agreement with the preparer. Findings also show that process accountability decreases efficiency by increasing overall time to complete the study and the amount of information reviewed. These results suggest that process accountability, the act of documenting the process used to perform a task, may reduce the chances of audit failure, making the reduction in efficiency acceptable.

I also find that participants in the process accountability and high risk groups may have experienced information overload. Both high client risk and process accountability have been shown to increase attention to information and time spent on a task. A decrease in errors identified by individuals in this group when compared to individuals in the process accountability and low risk group may indicate information overload. Also, attrition rates and followup responses from participants who did not complete the study indicate that information overload may have been an issue for participants in the process accountability/high risk group.

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