We document auditors’ remote work experiences during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We surveyed U.S. auditors to explore their communications with engagement team members and clients and to understand the perceived benefits and challenges of working remotely. Our findings reveal that not all auditors fared equally during remote work. We find that remote work did not generally diminish the initiation or frequency of communication with clients or audit team members (including socially oriented communication); however, the effectiveness of communication with colleagues and/or clients was the most frequently cited challenge. Clients were perceived as being less cooperative and responsive to information requests (especially by less experienced auditors). On the other hand, remote work did provide benefits including no commute, enhanced work/life balance (especially for more experienced auditors), and greater schedule flexibility. We discuss implications of our results as firms continue allowing auditors to work remotely and under hybrid arrangements.

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