The Center for Audit Quality and the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association have announced four awards as part of a program designed to give academic researchers access to audit firm personnel to use in their research projects.

The CAQ and the AAA Auditing Section established the Access to Audit Personnel program last year to generate research on issues that are relevant to audit practice while providing doctoral students and tenure-track professors with access to audit firm staff to complete data collection protocols (see Program Aims to Give Academic Researchers More Access to Auditors).

From nearly 36 proposals received in response to an RFP it issued in January, the Review Committee picked four projects to support:

1. Benjamin P. Commerford, University of Alabama, Do Auditors Constrain the Earnings Impact of Real Earnings Management? An Experimental Examination, (with Rick Hatfield and Rich Houston, University of Alabama)

2. Emily Griffith, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ego Depletion and Evidence Integration While Auditing Complex Estimates (with Patrick Hurley, University of Wisconsin – Madison and Jacqueline Hammersley, University of Georgia)

3. Jon Pyzoha, Case Western Reserve University, Can an Audit Firm’s Tone at the Top Messaging Attenuate Confirmation Bias in Audits of Fair Value Measurements? (with Mark Taylor and Yi-Jing Wu, Case Western Reserve University)

4. K. Kelli Saunders, University of South Carolina, Examining the Impact of Offshoring and Level of Preparer Judgment on the Audit Review Process

“We are pleased to provide these academics with important access to audit personnel for their research projects,” said CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “This program is a valuable partnership that can benefit the audit profession and the academic community. We thank the CAQ’s Governing Board firms for providing unique access to profession personnel, which can help to generate research that is truly meaningful to auditors.”

A committee of senior academics and audit practitioners evaluated the proposals based on such factors as ability to address important research questions that are relevant to practice, contribution to academic literature, and methodological soundness. CAQ staff will work closely with the CAQ’s Governing Board firms to ensure the successful completion of the field work for each of these projects.

The estimated level of effort for the research awards is more than 355 hours. The number of participants requested in these projects ranges from 120 to 160 audit firm personnel, for a total of 580 across the four projects. The personnel requested includes all levels, from audit seniors (those with three to five years of experience) to audit partners.