The Center for Audit Quality and the American Accounting Association have expanded their Access to Audit Personnel program for connecting academic researchers with auditors.

The program launched in 2012 to help academics conduct research on the audit profession with the help of audit practitioners who agree to participate in their research projects.

“Academic research can be vital for audit professionals in search of new solutions to challenges arising in an ever-evolving business landscape,” said CAQ executive director Cindy Fornelli in a statement. “We are excited to offer and expand this program to connect academics in search of study participants with qualified, experienced audit practitioners. Staff from all levels of the profession—from staff auditors up to audit partners—have participated in this program in years past, and we look forward to initiating another round of research opportunities.”

The program traditionally offers access to audit firm personnel for doctoral students and assistant professors who are seeking tenure, enabling them to do behavioral research studies on subjects related to auditing. This year, though, the CAQ and the AAA Auditing Section have expanded eligibility to tenured faculty in addition to PhD and tenure-track professors.

“The Access to Audit Personnel program has been invaluable to the scholars who have been selected for awards,” said AAA Auditing Section president Karla Johnstone. “One of the greatest challenges that behavioral researchers face is obtaining participants from more than one audit firm. The access program guarantees that these projects will draw participants from the eight largest accounting firms with the help of the CAQ.”

To participate in the program, applicants need to submit a proposal describing the theory and hypotheses they plan to test during the experiment, along with a data collection protocol that is in an advanced stage of development. A review committee of senior academics and audit partners will weigh the proposals.

Since it began, the program has given researchers access to nearly 2,100 audit participants. The request for proposals is available here. Proposals can be submitted through an online application. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 11:59 pm on Feb. 1, 2017.

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