Knowledge, Experience and Work-Around Behaviors: Electronic Media in the Professional Audit Environment
Jean C. Bedard
Bentley University - Department of Accountancy
University of Kansas - School of Business
Northeastern University - Accounting Group
Karla M. Johnstone
University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems
Along with many other business entities, auditing firms have implemented a variety of electronic work systems to assist professionals in collecting and analyzing data, with the objective of improving operational efficiency and effectiveness. While prior research in other contexts finds that knowledge workers may reduce the impact of electronic work systems by working around them, we are unaware of studies of this issue in the professional context of auditing. We address this gap by examining the implementation of electronic audit workpapers (a complex system in which workpapers prepared by lower-level staff are reviewed by engagement team leaders), using a longitudinal two-stage design. First, prior to system implementation, we investigate how users' perceptions of the system and of their own computer and auditing knowledge (i.e., self-efficacy) affect their intention to use the system without reverting to paper as a medium of information storage and processing. We find that auditors' computer and task self-efficacy affect their perceptions of system ease of use and usefulness, which in turn influence their intention to use the system correctly. However, the specific paths vary by workpaper role (preparer versus reviewer). Second, using data collected following a period of system use, we report evidence of auditors' attempts to work around the system. In general, there is a negative association between behavioral intentions to use the system and actual work-around behaviors in practice. For reviewers, this relationship holds regardless of the level of experience using the system. For preparers, this relationship holds only after they have significant experience using the system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: Technology acceptance, self-efficacy, audit workpapers, workpaper review
JEL Classification: M49working papers series
Date posted: October 4, 2006
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