Audit Quality Indicators: Perceptions of Junior-level Auditors
Managerial Auditing Journal
In an effort to develop an audit quality (AQ) framework specific to the US audit market, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) recently issued a concept release proposing 28 audit quality indicators (AQIs) along three dimensions: audit professionals, audit process and audit results. Using AQIs initially proposed by the PCAOB, as well as AQIs suggested by prior literature, the authors solicit perceptions from junior-level (senior and staff) auditors to investigate the current state of practice along many of the AQIs relating to audit professionals and audit process.
In the study, 78 junior-level auditors responded to the survey.
An analysis of the responses suggests auditors engage in activities and audit firms promote conditions that at times improve, and at other times, reduce audit quality. The authors find that individual auditors’ perceptions differ across experience level, gender and audit firm size for certain AQIs.
The study is useful to the PCAOB because it provides insights to help assess the value of potential AQIs in differentiating AQ. The study is also useful to other regulators because it describes audit staff and seniors’ perceptions of apparent firm and auditor compliance with accounting and auditing standards. Practitioners should find this information useful in helping to identify possible root causes of audit deficiencies, a challenge put forth to firms by the PCAOB.
This study provides academia with evidence on AQ from practicing auditors, which informs existing and future research along. The study complements existing work by showing how individual auditor characteristics (experience and gender) at the junior levels may impact AQ in practice