This paper reviews and synthesizes the behavioral literature on the various antecedents of auditor identities and explains, through social identity theory, how they influence audit outcomes. We discuss the four identities most relevant to auditors (client, firm, team, and profession), first reviewing the psychology literature to describe each of these identities and then reviewing the auditing literature to understand how these identities emerge and impact audit quality. Overall, we find that whereas all four auditor identities have been examined in the literature, much of the research focuses on client identification due to the risk to auditor independence and objectivity. Further, identities can impact audit quality positively or negatively depending on contextual factors. Also, we find few studies investigate whether multiple auditor identities interact to affect audit quality, which provides opportunities for future research with the hope that it can help the profession identify ways of improving audit outcomes.

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