This study investigated whether auditors who used a diagram designed around systems-thinking principles to acquire information for analytical procedures would focus more on patterns of changes in accounts and assess misstatement risk differently than auditors who used an informationally equivalent diagram organized by business-process categories. During a laboratory experiment, experienced auditors performed analytical procedures using one of two alternative diagrams. Participants documented their concerns about misstatement risk and rated the diagnostic relevance of information about patterns of changes in accounts. Auditors who used the systems-thinking tool focused more on diagnostic patterns of fluctuations in accounts and came to different conclusions about risk.
Data Availability: Data will be made available by the authors upon request.