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Financial Reporting and Assurance

The Drivers of Audit Quality

Team

Funding

Macquarie University Enterprise Partnership Scheme and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA UK)

Collaboration

Professional accounting bodies

Goals

Prior research has identified a number of audit firm and audit team attributes that are considered to be important in assessments of audit quality. However, little is known about which audit firm and the audit team attributes are relatively more important in perceptions of audit quality. This study investigates the relative importance of audit firm and audit team attributes to the perceptions of audit quality utilising key participant groups in the market of audit services as the primary data source.

Method

A customised online survey questionnaire constructed using Adaptive Conjoint Analysis administered to volunteer participants from three key groups of audit market participants: auditors, CFOs and directors.


The Critical Role of Effective Audit Teams on Audit Quality at an Engagement Level

Team

Funding

CAANZ (previously ICAA)

Collaboration

CAANZ (previously ICAA)

Goals

The aim of this project is to examine the critical characteristics of effective audit teams, their processes, and how they influence audit quality at an engagement level. It specifically looks at critical audit team characteristics (structure and composition), the nature of the teams' task, audit team processes and the identification of teamwork skills for team effectiveness, and the influence of these on audit quality.

Method

Initial interviews followed by a survey with audit team members across different levels of seniority ranging from the analyst to a manager from a selected number of Big 4 and medium firms in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.


Familiarity and Efficiency in Different Audit regimes: A Comparison between Tax Auditors and Financial Statement Auditors

Team

Funding

Vienna University of Economics and Business is funding all data collection

Collaboration

Professor Ewald Aschauer Vienna University of Economics and Business

Goals

In the financial audit setting it is assumed that the current regulation leads to increased familiarity between the auditor and the auditee but also to higher efficiency of the audit process. However, little is known about how different environmental settings impact on the auditor selection, the audit process and audit quality.This study investigates the effects of different institutional settings and audit input factors (auditors' professional trait skepticism, auditors' professional identification, the auditor client relationship) on audit quality.

Method

Surveying financial auditors and tax auditors in Germany and Austria


The nature and role of audit committees

Team

Goals

This project examines how the roles, characteristics, expectations and evaluation practices of audit committees adapted to legislative change, and what practices are most conducive to effective audit committees. Although based on Australian cases, the study seeks to identify common elements of effective audit committees, with international implications.

Method

Semi-structured interviews with audit committee chairs and chief audit executives in ASX-300 organisations.


How professional audit scepticism is conceptualised

Team

Funding

CAANZ

Goals

In light of the significance of professional scepticism in audit quality, this project clarifies what professional scepticism is and how firms and professional organisations can cultivate the trait of professional scepticism over time.

Method

Semi-structured interviews with senior audit practitioners, analysed within a neo-Aristotelian framework of the conditions of character development.


Professional audit scepticism in audit engagements

Team

Funding

CAANZ

Collaboration

CAANZ

Goals

This study has two main aims: 

  1. To examine how and to what extent engagement partners and individual auditors apply sceptical judgment and sceptical action at audit engagement level, and,
  2. To identify the extent to which specific factors in the application of sceptical judgment and sceptical action in audit engagements are attributable to:
    1. Auditors,
    2. Evidence,
    3. Clients and
    4. The external environment.

Method

Survey of auditors ranging from analysts to partners in Big 4 and medium audit firms.


Continuous Assurance and Data Analytics

Team

Collaboration

Professor Miklos Vasarhelyi (Rutgers Accounting Research Centre (RARC) and Continuous Auditing and Reporting Lab (CAR Lab)

Goals

TBA

Method

The project is based on semi-structured interviews with senior audit practitioners, analysed within a neo-Aristotelian framework of the conditions of character development.