Enhancing Auditors’ Reliance on Data Analytics under Inspection Risk Using Fixed and Growth Mindsets
55 Pages Posted: 24 May 2021 Last revised: 23 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 23, 2021
Audit firms have invested significantly in data analytics (DA). However, evidence shows that auditors are often reluctant to rely on DA. A major auditor concern is that inspectors will second-guess the audit evidence gathered using DA. Drawing on psychology research, we examine how the effect of inspection risk on auditors’ reliance on DA is moderated by a fixed mindset (a belief that one’s ability is fixed) versus a growth mindset (a belief that one’s ability is malleable). In an experiment with Big Four auditors as participants, we find that, relative to low inspection risk, high inspection risk reduces auditors’ reliance on DA when auditors are prompted with a fixed mindset, but increases it when auditors are prompted with a growth mindset. Our findings contribute to auditing literature on DA, inspection risk, and mindsets, and have implications for auditors, audit firms, and regulators.
Keywords: data analytics; inspection risk; mindsets; auditor judgment
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