SUMMARY: The promulgation of standards (e.g., PCAOB 2004b; IFAC 2008b) highlights the importance of workpaper documentation quality and its influence on audit quality. Our study matches audit workpaper preparers with reviewers to examine how alternative workpaper review methods affect sequential audit review team judgments through their impact on preparer workpaper documentation. While reviewers maintain the option of reviewing workpapers on site (“face‐to‐face review”), they can now also perform their reviews electronically from remote locations (“electronic review”) because of technological advancements such as email and electronic workpapers. Recent research has found that review mode can affect the judgments of auditors preparing the workpapers. Our study extends the literature by examining the extent to which review mode (electronic versus face‐to‐face) affects the quality of documentation in the workpapers and whether reviewers are able to discern and compensate for these documentation quality issues. Our results indicate that reviewers' judgments are ultimately affected by the form of review expected by their preparer. We test two alternative mediation models to provide insight into why the review format affects reviewer judgment quality. Mediation analyses suggest that the effect of review mode on reviewer judgments is mediated by a documentation quality assessment gap. Specifically, with electronic review, reviewers' burden to recognize and compensate for lower‐quality documentation was generally greater, often resulting in lower‐quality reviewer judgments than when the mode of review was face‐to‐face. These results suggest that the effect of review mode can persist to the reviewer's judgment through its influence on preparer workpaper documentation and the resulting documentation quality assessment gap.
The Effects of Audit Review Format on Review Team Judgments
Christopher P. Agoglia, Richard C. Hatfield, Joseph F. Brazel; The Effects of Audit Review Format on Review Team Judgments. AUDITING: A Journal of Practice & Theory 1 May 2009; 28 (1): 95–111. https://doi.org/10.2308/aud.2009.28.1.95
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