In this study of auditor perceptions, we examine sanction severity for a broad array of workplace sanctions, ranging from informal to formal, and stemming from multiple sources (clients, coworkers, audit partners, professional bodies). We also probe perceptions of violation detection, with a specific focus on the individuals most likely to detect a violation (coworker, audit partner, client, professional body). Through detailed examinations, we are able to identify gaps in patterns of sanction severity and sources of detection. While the profession assigns the most severe sanctions, our study suggests auditors believe the violations associated with professional sanctions are more likely to be detected by the client rather than the coworker or the audit partner. We assert that such perceptions could lead to vulnerabilities in the power and effectiveness of professional sanctions.

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