Does a Completion Goal Impede Auditors’ Identification of Fraud Risk? The Benefit of a Refuse to Accept Goal and Influence of Professional Identity

45 Pages Posted: 1 Jan 2020

See all articles by Tracie M. Majors

Tracie M. Majors

University of Southern California

Sarah E. Bonner

University of Southern California

Date Written: December 12, 2019

Abstract

Auditors’ fraud detection is critical – undetected frauds impose costs on users and auditors. We propose auditors’ fraud risk identification during end-of-audit analytical procedures is affected by working under a completion (“just get it done”) goal versus a “refuse to accept” goal (with a desired conclusion that fraud risks remain). In an experiment, a refuse to accept goal positively affects auditors’ belief task performance is important, prompting integrative processing, then a higher likelihood of identifying a fraud risk. While the refuse to accept goal increases this belief for low professional identity auditors, it does not lead to identifying the specific risk, only raising concerns with their superior. High identity auditors are more likely to identify the specific risk under the goal, but, consistent with experiencing a self-concept threat, do not show increased belief performance is important and are less inclined to raise concerns. Findings have implications for research and practice.

Keywords: Goals, fraud, end-of-audit analytical procedures, audit quality, professional identity, self-concept threat

JEL Classification: M40, M41, M42, D80, D91

Suggested Citation

Majors, Tracie McDonald and Bonner, Sarah E., Does a Completion Goal Impede Auditors’ Identification of Fraud Risk? The Benefit of a Refuse to Accept Goal and Influence of Professional Identity (December 12, 2019). USC Marshall School of Business Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3502992 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3502992

Tracie McDonald Majors (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

2250 Alcazar Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Sarah E. Bonner

University of Southern California ( email )

Marshall School of Business
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0441
United States
213-740-5025 (Phone)
213-747-2815 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
47
Abstract Views
242
PlumX Metrics