Prior studies report that less experienced staff accountants are often susceptible to confirmation bias in the evaluation of evidence. This bias results in nonobjective information evaluation by staff‐level accountants. This study examines how the perceived objectivity of the staff accountant and the manager's own client advocacy affect the manager's use of the staff accountant's research report when formulating client recommendations. The results suggest that objectivity judgments made by partner‐/manager‐level accountants are influenced by whether the staff accountant's research report confirms their initial opinion. Further, the confirmatory nature of the research report affects the manner in which the report is incorporated into a client recommendation. Nonconfirming research reports were given more weight than confirming research reports. Preference for client‐favorable outcomes was found to affect the weight given to staff accountant research reports as well.
The Effect of Staff Accountant Objectivity in the Review and Decision Process: A Tax Setting
Richard Charles Hatfield; The Effect of Staff Accountant Objectivity in the Review and Decision Process: A Tax Setting. Journal of the American Taxation Association 1 March 2001; 23 (1): 61–74. https://doi.org/10.2308/jata.2001.23.1.61
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