Date of Award

12-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

O'Donnell, Ed

Abstract

When conducting integrated audits, auditors are susceptible to motivated judgment biases that may negatively affect their judgment quality. In a 2012 report, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board found evidence of auditor judgment failures during their quality inspections of audit firms. In this experimental study with 160 senior auditors, I explore the effects motivated reasoning (outcome goal vs. no outcome goal) and accountability (outcome accountability vs. judgment accountability) have on determining internal control effectiveness. I posit that AS No. 5 encourages auditors to have an outcome-motivated goal when conducting internal control audits, which encourages information seeking behaviors. These information seeking behaviors encourage the auditor to attend more to confirmatory information that supports their motivated goal more than information that conflicts with the motivated goal. I hypothesize that auditors who conduct integrated audits are more likely to rate internal control effectiveness higher compared to auditors conducting a non-integrated audit. I also hypothesize that having a judgment based accountability will help to mitigate the biased effects when auditors have outcome-motivated goals.

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