Client Likeability in Auditor Fraud Risk Judgments: The Mitigating Influence of Task Experience, the Review Process, and a “Consider the Opposite” Strategy
School of Accountancy
Auditors contend with an array of management personalities during the course of an audit engagement. Some clients by their nature are more likeable, while others create a stressful or unpleasant environment. We summarize two related research studies that examine whether and how a client's likeability influences auditors' fraud likelihood judgments. Results indicate that more likeable (dislikeable) clients cause lower (higher) auditor judgments of fraud likelihood. Results also indicate this bias operates indirectly by influencing the evaluation of evidence statements made by the client that relate to management pressures or attitudes rather than operating as a global bias on all evidence. Requiring an explanation for the judgment mitigates this bias, but only for experienced auditors. For inexperienced auditors and experienced non-audit CPAs, a prompt to “consider the opposite” mitigates the bias. These findings suggest that education and training can clarify relevant and irrelevant evidence cues in fraud judgments.
Current Issues in Auditing
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)