Effects of Experience, Task Specific Information, and Risk on Tax Professionals’ Judgments

39 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2011 Last revised: 26 Aug 2011

Michael L. Roberts

University of Colorado at Denver

George F. Klersey

Piedmont College

Abstract

This research examines whether (1) less experienced tax accountants exhibit a pro-client bias (a tendency to conclude a client-favorable [unfavorable] outcome is more [less] likely as compared to more experienced tax accountants’ judgments), (2) whether task-specific declarative information (a summary of relevant IRC and Congressional intent) can reduce this bias, and (3) whether tax seniors and managers can make judgments similar to partner experts in a closed-cue judgment situation as suggested by prior research in medical decision making. The results show tax seniors judge taxability significantly less likely when the facts are against the client or neutral than both tax managers and partners. This pro-client bias is significantly reduced when the seniors are provided with relevant declarative information. In contrast, tax managers are able to make taxability judgments similar to the partner experts across all three risk conditions. I discuss implications for training, practice management, and future research.

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Michael L. and Klersey, George F., Effects of Experience, Task Specific Information, and Risk on Tax Professionals’ Judgments. 2011 American Accounting Association Annual Meeting - Tax Concurrent Sessions. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1905127 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1905127

Michael L. Roberts (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Denver ( email )

Box 173364
1250 14th Street
Denver, CO 80217
United States

George F. Klersey

Piedmont College ( email )

165 Central Avenue
P.O. Box 10
Demorest, GA 30535
United States
(706) 778-8500 Ext. 1207 (Phone)
(706) 778-0701 (Fax)

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