In this paper, we provide theoretical and practical guidance on experimental design choices when incorporating auditor-client communication in audit research. We structure our discussion around Social Presence Theory, noting how elements of social presence impact theoretical predictions and the related experimental design. We then compare non-interactive, highly controlled paper/computer-based studies with studies that involve automated interaction, interaction with an actor, or interaction between participants. We provide a discussion of best practices and pitfalls related to these different experimental design choices, including theoretical and logistical considerations, as well as recent innovations in this area. While our methodological discussion is nested in auditor-client communication research, these methods and logistical considerations are applicable to most accounting experiments designed to address research questions steeped in social psychology (i.e., contexts of human interaction).

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