The purpose of this study is to examine the benefits and costs of an alternative to the traditional time-based budget audit model. We survey auditors who participated in a real-world, firm-designed, non-time-based budget (NTB) model pilot program during which several engagement teams were not provided with a time budget and auditors did not track time. Results suggest auditors appreciated the autonomy the NTB model allows, felt it improved teamwork, reported less concern about performance evaluations, felt empowered to deliver value-added services to the client, and indicated greater work-life balance and job satisfaction. Firm-provided proprietary archival evidence suggests that efficiency did not differ across the two models, as the timing of audit procedure signoffs was not negatively impacted under the NTB model. Overall, our results suggest a NTB model may be a viable option for audit firms looking to decrease their reliance on time-based budgeting.

Data Availability: Please contact Erin M. Hawkins.

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