An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Audit and Auditor Characteristics on Auditor Performance

Posted: 26 Jun 2014

See all articles by Walid Alissa

Walid Alissa

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department

Vedran Capkun

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department

Thomas Jeanjean

ESSEC Business School - Department of Accounting and Management Control

Nadja Suca

University of Split

Date Written: June 2014

Abstract

We use a unique and confidential database of 15,392 tax audits performed by the Croatian Tax Administration during the 2002-2006 period to examine the impact of task complexity, auditor experience, and auditor effort on audit performance. We provide external validation to prior experimental and analytical research showing that task complexity decreases while auditor experience and effort increase audit performance. We also extend this literature by examining the roles of task complexity and experience in moderating the impact of the effort on audit performance. We find that task complexity mitigates, while experience enhances the positive relationship between auditor effort and performance. However, we also find that auditor experience reinforces the positive effect of auditor effort on performance to a greater degree when complexity is high. Taken together, our findings provide new evidence on how audit and auditor characteristics impact audit performance, and new insight into how task complexity and auditor experience separately and jointly moderate the impact of auditor effort on performance.

Keywords: Auditor effort, Auditor experience, Task complexity, Auditor performance, Tax audits

JEL Classification: M42, M49

Suggested Citation

Alissa, Walid and Capkun, Vedran and Jeanjean, Thomas and Suca, Nadja, An Empirical Investigation of the Impact of Audit and Auditor Characteristics on Auditor Performance (June 2014). Accounting, Organizations and Society, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2458850

Walid Alissa

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department ( email )

Accounting and Management Control Department
1, rue de la libération
Jouy-en-Josas, 78351
France

Vedran Capkun (Contact Author)

HEC Paris - Accounting and Management Control Department ( email )

Jouy-en-Josas Cedex
France

Thomas Jeanjean

ESSEC Business School - Department of Accounting and Management Control ( email )

Av Bernard Hirsch
Cergy-Pontoise 95021
France

Nadja Suca

University of Split ( email )

Livanjska ulica 5
Split, 21000
Croatia

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