This paper explores the nature of the offshoring process in auditing and examines how audit performance is affected by changes in the design of staff auditors' work resulting from offshoring. These issues are studied using a combination of in-depth exploratory interviews and an experiment. Offshoring represents a significant shift in audit practice, but prior research offers limited insight into the audit offshoring process and its potential effects on audit work. The exploratory in-depth interviews suggest that a key rationale behind offshoring is to provide enhanced opportunities for local auditors, by employing offshore auditors to complete basic audit work. However, due to the liaison role that local team members assume, as well as time constraints and a lack of trust in offshore auditors, interviewees indicate that local auditors often complete work started by offshore professionals. Theory suggests that such changes in the design of local staff auditors' work could adversely affect performance. The experiment finds that performance declines when participants complete work from a point in progress that is perceived to be of less significance. Taken together, the results offer an initial understanding of the audit offshoring process, and highlight the potential consequences of associated work “redesign” on auditor performance.

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