Title

Could the level of personal indebtedness influence an auditor's professional decision-making process?

Document Type

Article

Publication Title

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Abstract

This research examines the effect of auditors' personal debt on their audit decision making. We developed two different background scenarios that vary the level of the auditor's personal debt. While one scenario indicated that the partner lived a modest lifestyle and was relatively free of debt, the other indicated that the partner lived an expensive lifestyle and had considerable personal debt. Our data indicate that auditors receiving the higher personal indebtedness scenario were more likely to believe that the auditor in the case study would sign-off on the audit without doing any additional work. We also found that the propensity to believe that the auditor in the case study would sign-off on the audit without doing any additional work decreased as the participants' rank within the firm increased. Our research documents that a partner's level of indebtedness could influence the participant's audit decisions.

Volume

18

First Page

89

Last Page

108

DOI

10.1108/S1574-076520140000018003

ISSN

15740765

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