Audit quality and efficiency

PhD Defense

14 June 2016 09:12

(updated: 14 June 2016 09:20)

Audit quality and efficiency

On Monday 27 June 2016 Patricia Wellmeyer will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend her thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

How has Auditing Changed in the Post-SOX Environment?

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Jebsen Centre NHH

Title of the thesis:

Auditing in the Post Sox Environment: A Portfolio of Studies Examining Elements of the Assurance Gathering Process and the Impact of these on the Current and Future States of Audit Quality and Efficiency


The portfolio of studies presented in this thesis provide relevant insights into how various environmental, process, and auditor-level forces impact audit quality and efficiency.

The first study examines whether the presence and extent of client firms’ enterprise system (ES) implementations are related to audit quality and efficiency.  The study finds ES implementations are associated with improvements in audit quality evidenced by generally fewer restatements, a greater likelihood of auditors issuing going concern opinions to firms that go bankrupt, and higher accruals-based auditing quality.  Findings also show ES implementations are associated with improved audit efficiency evidenced by lower likelihood of Form 10-K filing delays and lower audit fees.

Through a field study, the second study examines the current state of sampling procedures in the assurance gathering process. Findings reveal that auditors rely greatly on firm technologies and tables in making sampling judgments; especially in the determination of sampling risk and sample sizes for test of controls. The authors also find a general deficiency among auditors in education on underlying sampling constructs and auditor judgment errors in evaluating statistical samples. Findings also reveal that auditors face challenges in developing integrated sampling plans, especially in the context of multi-location engagements.

Via a controlled-experiment, the last study explores the impact of individual versus team-based decision making processing. Results indicate that team processing does not significantly shift auditor risk assessments, but does significantly shift the judgments of auditors’ proposed client adjustment decisions. Findings show auditors exhibit riskier decisions after team discussions when discussions are conducted face-to-face versus through computer mediation, as general audit experience increases, and with some versus no prior experience working on audit engagements with team members. Results also show that higher levels of task experience may moderate these effects in the context of auditors’ proposed adjustment decisions.


12:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Assistant Professor Tzu-Ting Chiu (chair), NHH
Professor Teija Marita Laitinen, University of Vaasa
Professor Joseph V. Carcello, University of Tennessee


Professor Iris Stuart

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public.