The Role of the Attitudes in Auditing Research and Directions for Future Research

Handbook of Attitudes (2019), 2nd Edition, Albarracin, D., & Johnson, B.T. (Eds.) Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group)

Posted: 13 Aug 2018 Last revised: 21 Nov 2018

See all articles by Kathryn Kadous

Kathryn Kadous

Emory University - Goizueta Business School

Christine J. Nolder

Suffolk University

Mark E. Peecher

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Illinois College of Law

Date Written: December 22, 2017

Abstract

Attitudes play an important role in determining how the audit will be conducted, and thus, directly impact audit quality. In particular, regulators require that auditors maintain an attitude of professional skepticism and independence of mind throughout the financial statement audit. Despite the heavy emphasis on auditors’ professional skepticism and independence of mind in professional standards, researchers studying auditor judgment and decision-making have only rarely examined auditors’ attitudes explicitly. In this book chapter, we draw from both the attitude literature in social psychology and the auditor judgment and decision-making literature to develop a conceptual framework that depicts important auditor attitudes along with their antecedents and consequential behaviors. One important antecedent that helps form attitudes is cognitive processing (i.e., critical thinking). We utilize the Heuristic-Systematic Model (HSM) to explain the nature of auditors’ vs. inspectors’ potentially different approaches to cognitive processing that may shed light on why they have different perceptions of what constitutes appropriate and sufficient evidence. Overall, the HSM demonstrates that engaging in both heuristic (e.g., intuitive) and systematic information processing can increase efficiency in achieving the goal of an objective evaluation of the evidence (i.e., objective attitude).

Keywords: auditor, attitudes, professional skepticism, independence, PCAOB, HSM

Suggested Citation

Kadous, Kathryn and Nolder, Christine J. and Peecher, Mark E., The Role of the Attitudes in Auditing Research and Directions for Future Research (December 22, 2017). Handbook of Attitudes (2019), 2nd Edition, Albarracin, D., & Johnson, B.T. (Eds.) Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3092246

Kathryn Kadous

Emory University - Goizueta Business School ( email )

1300 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322-2722
United States
404-727-4967 (Phone)

Christine J. Nolder (Contact Author)

Suffolk University ( email )

Boston, MA 02108
United States

Mark E. Peecher

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ( email )

Gies College of Business
1206 South Sixth Street
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-4542 (Phone)
217-244-0902 (Fax)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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