The study investigates whether and how senior auditors' strategic analysis of a client affects their identification of significant business and financial statement risks, and their risk assessments. Sixty-seven senior auditors participated in an experiment that examined the effect of analyzing two aspects of strategic analysis (strategic positioning and the strategy implementation process) against performing no strategic analysis. An expert panel of senior managers was used to develop a benchmark for comparison purposes. Our results show that (1) auditors who performed guided strategic analysis did not identify more significant business and financial statement risks than auditors who did not perform strategic analysis, (2) senior auditors who performed strategic analysis of strategic positioning or the strategy implementation process assessed risk of material misstatement at the entity level more consistently with an expert panel than auditors who did not perform such an analysis, and (3) senior auditors' analysis of the client's strategy implementation process was associated with assessments of the strength of the control environment that were more consistent with the expert panel than assessments done by auditors who did not perform any strategic analysis or who performed only an analysis of strategic positioning.
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