Knowledge, Experience and Work-Around Behaviors: Electronic Media in the Professional Audit Environment

46 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2006

See all articles by Jean C. Bedard

Jean C. Bedard

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy

Michael Ettredge

University of Kansas - Accounting and Information Systems Area

Cynthia Jackson

Northeastern University - Accounting Group

Karla M. Zehms

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

Along with many other business entities, auditing firms have implemented a variety of electronic work systems to assist professionals in collecting and analyzing data, with the objective of improving operational efficiency and effectiveness. While prior research in other contexts finds that knowledge workers may reduce the impact of electronic work systems by working around them, we are unaware of studies of this issue in the professional context of auditing. We address this gap by examining the implementation of electronic audit workpapers (a complex system in which workpapers prepared by lower-level staff are reviewed by engagement team leaders), using a longitudinal two-stage design. First, prior to system implementation, we investigate how users' perceptions of the system and of their own computer and auditing knowledge (i.e., self-efficacy) affect their intention to use the system without reverting to paper as a medium of information storage and processing. We find that auditors' computer and task self-efficacy affect their perceptions of system ease of use and usefulness, which in turn influence their intention to use the system correctly. However, the specific paths vary by workpaper role (preparer versus reviewer). Second, using data collected following a period of system use, we report evidence of auditors' attempts to work around the system. In general, there is a negative association between behavioral intentions to use the system and actual work-around behaviors in practice. For reviewers, this relationship holds regardless of the level of experience using the system. For preparers, this relationship holds only after they have significant experience using the system.

Keywords: Technology acceptance, self-efficacy, audit workpapers, workpaper review

JEL Classification: M49

Suggested Citation

Bedard, Jean C. and Ettredge, Michael L. and Jackson, Cynthia and Zehms, Karla M., Knowledge, Experience and Work-Around Behaviors: Electronic Media in the Professional Audit Environment (May 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=934200 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.934200

Jean C. Bedard (Contact Author)

Bentley University - Department of Accountancy ( email )

175 Forest Street
Waltham, MA 02452
United States
781-891-2410 (Phone)
781-891-2896 (Fax)

Michael L. Ettredge

University of Kansas - Accounting and Information Systems Area ( email )

1300 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States
785-864-7537 (Phone)
785-864-5328 (Fax)

Cynthia Jackson

Northeastern University - Accounting Group ( email )

360 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115
United States

Karla M. Zehms

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Accounting and Information Systems ( email )

School of Business
975 University Avenue
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-234-1052 (Phone)
608-265-5031 (Fax)

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