Behavioural Aspects of Auditors' Evidence Evaluation
A Belief Revision Perspective
This title was first published in 2003. Based on psychological research, auditing studies have focused on 'belief revision' as a way of understanding how auditors evaluate evidence. Moreover a belief revision process is consistent with US auditing standards. UK standards on the other hand do not appear to give guidance on the process to follow when evaluating evidence. Research in the US indicates that auditors do in fact follow a belief revision process in accordance with US standards. Employing survey research (based on personal interviews with a number of experienced UK auditors) this book demonstrates how auditors prefer to be described as following the open mind approach. Building on the findings of the interviews the book then describes an experimental study to investigate the differences between the belief revision and open mind approaches in terms of their effect on the efficiency and effectiveness of the audit process. The book concludes that the belief revision approach would improve the efficiency of the audit process without affecting its effectiveness or outcomes.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction and overview; The belief-adjustment as a model of the belief revision approach; Factors affecting auditors' belief revisions; Empirical research design; Results of interviews: auditors' approaches in evaluating evidence; Results of interviews: factors affecting auditors' evaluation of evidence; Results of experiment; Discussion and conclusions; Bibliography; Appendices; Index.
'The gathering and evaluation of evidence lies at the heart of the audit process so this book will be of practical relevance to both the auditing and academic community. It provides a comprehensive overview of research into auditors' decision making and its implications for practitioners. The key contribution of this study arises from its UK context, most previous research having been carried out within the USA, and from its use of interviews to provide a rich inside view of issues involved in the decision-making process.' Dr Ursula Lucas, University of the West of England, UK