AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION OF AUDIT COMMITTEE MEMBERS' PERCEPTIONS OF AUDIT QUALITY.
AuthorSCHROEDER, MARY SINCLAIR.
Committee ChairSoloman, Ira
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractVery little accounting research exists which investigates specific decision tasks performed by audit committee members. More specifically, little research exists regarding the one decision task which appears to be a primary duty of all audit committees--the decision task of selecting and/or evaluating the external auditor. Since the auditor selection decision is basically an assessment of the tradeoffs between audit quality and audit fees and the determination of audit fees is straightforward, the current study focuses on the assessment of audit quality. The primary objectives of this research project were (1) to identify those factors which affect audit quality, (2) to investigate how those audit-quality factors correlate with audit committee chairpersons' assessments of audit quality, and (3) to determine whether audit committee chairpersons exhibit expert judgment in their audit-quality assessments. To meet these objectives of two-phase study was conducted. In the first phase of the study audit committee chairpersons were asked to rate the impact various factors have on the quality of auditing services. Those factors identified in the first phase to have the strongest impact on audit quality were then utilized in the second phase to develop audit-quality scenarios. The second phase of the study consisted of requesting each audit committee respondent to assess audit quality for 32 individual audit-quality scenarios. Regression analysis was employed in the second phase to represent the cognitive models of the respondents. The Judgmental Analysis (JAN) technique also was used in the second phase to cluster the decision makers into the various decision-making groups which exist. The results of this two-phase study provided data regarding the perceived impact of 15 audit-quality factors on audit quality and how the most important of these audit-quality factors correlate with audit committee chairpersons' audit-quality assessments. The main conclusions of the study were (1) team-specific factors have a stronger perceived impact on audit quality than do firm-specific factors, (2) audit team composition factors are perceived to be the most important determinants of audit quality, and (3) consensus is not obtained regarding audit-quality assessments.