Auditor Judgments: The Effects of the Partner's Views on Decision Outcomes and Cognitive Effort
Posted: 2 Jul 2013
Date Written: June 1, 1996
There are political, social and economic incentives embedded within the audit setting which provide stimuli for compliant behavior of subordinate auditors to that preferred by the superior auditor. This study examines this compliant behavior under conditions of accountability. Specifically, this study examines whether subordinate auditors, when they are held accountable for their decisions, align their views with those expressed by the evaluative audience;emtheir superiors. In addition, the degree of cognitive effort associated with this compliance is examined. An experiment involving 70 auditors from one Big 6 firm required the subjects to complete a preliminary risk assessment of inventory obsolescence for five separate inventory items. All auditors were informed that they might have to verbally justify their decision outcomes to the partner and/or the researchers. The risk assessments of the auditors' superior were manipulated. Generally, the risk assessments of the superior significantly influenced the subordinates' risk assessments and the amount of cognitive effort exerted by the subordinate, accountable auditors.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation