August 19, 2015 | By Wisconsin School of Business | Back to press releases

A new research project by the Wisconsin School of Business aimed at providing auditors, regulators, and policy-makers with a model for understanding and interpreting audit studies is one of three projects to receive funding from the Center for Audit Quality (CAQ).

Emily Griffith, an assistant professor of accounting and information systems at the Wisconsin School of Business of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and co-authors Christine Nolder of Suffolk University, and Richard Petty of Ohio State University, received a $41,000 grant for their research. The group expects to have a first draft of their paper later this year.

“In creating a model that can be used to interpret past and future research, we want to allow for greater insight into how to improve audit quality by influencing auditors’ attitudes of professional skepticism and independence,” says Griffith. “We are grateful to the Center for Audit Quality in seeing the value of this work and its potential to generate effective recommendations for policy and practice going forward.”

The research will have three phases:

  1. Developing a model for understanding factors that influence auditors by applying Petty’s Elaboration Likelihood Model (cognitive psychology) to the audit context.
  2. Using the model to interpret the findings and implications of studies that examine selected characteristics of auditors, client, evidence, and environment.
  3. Identifying potential policy implications based on the collective findings of the studies examined.

Out of 34 research proposals, the CAQ selected Griffith and her colleagues as one of the three projects to fund. Last year, Griffith and Wisconsin School of Business Ph.D. student Patrick Hurley received the Access to Audit Personnel Program Award from CAQ, one of only four research teams in the country to receive the prestigious honor. CAQ is an autonomous public policy group dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets.

“CAQ has recognized the collaborative research approach at the Wisconsin School of Business and our commitment to making a positive contribution to audit practice,” added Terry Warfield, chair of the Accounting and Information Systems department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “This is the Wisconsin Idea in action—a strong research mission coupled with a focus on serving the community and world beyond our campus.”