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The Effects of Alternative Justification Memos on the Judgments of Audit Reviewees and Reviewers
Christopher P. Agoglia, Thomas Kida and Dennis M. Hanno
Journal of Accounting Research
Vol. 41, No. 1 (Mar., 2003), pp. 33-46
Published by: Wiley on behalf of Accounting Research Center, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3542243
Page Count: 14
You can always find the topics here!Topics: Fraud, Financial audits, Financial accounting, Judgment, Memoranda, Misappropriation, Audit evidence, Research fraud, P values, Management audits
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Prior research on justification has typically focused on the differences in judgments between auditors required, or not required, to justify their decisions. However, justification memos can be prepared using different approaches. In this study we examine the impact of using three justification memos: supporting, balanced, and component. Using a comprehensive control environment case based on an actual client that experienced fraud, we find that the justification memo used can affect the judgments of auditors preparing the memos as well as the judgments of auditors who review their work. Specifically, the results indicate that auditors using an unrestricted component memo, who were required to write memos for components of their task by providing important positive and negative evidence, thought that the firm's control environment was more likely to prevent fraud as compared with the supporting and balanced memo groups. Additional analyses suggest that the reason for this result is that an unrestricted component memo focuses auditors' attention on a larger percentage of positive control environment characteristics when a firm's underlying evidence set is mostly positive. This may be problematic because firms can have more positive than negative control environment characteristics, even when fraud is present.
Journal of Accounting Research © 2003 Accounting Research Center, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago