Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) AS1201 mandates that audit supervisors encourage auditors to raise critical issues and concerns to their attention. However, audit supervisors do not receive specific guidance on how to encourage upward communication. This may contribute to the AS1201 compliance issues suggested by research and PCAOB enforcement actions. We provide specific examples of supervisor behaviors that enhance and harm upward communication, thereby improving audit supervisors’ ability to comply with PCAOB AS1201. To do so, we report qualitative data from audit interns describing instances in which they chose to either speak up or not speak up about potential audit issues they encountered in the field. The instances illustrate the types of issues that interns encounter and reveal the role of supervisor behavior in influencing interns’ decisions to speak up.
JEL Classifications: M40.