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ItemThe Potential Impact of Blockchain Technology on Audit Practice( 2018-08-31)In today’s debate about the disruptive effect of Blockchain, audit and control professions are not in the spotlight while the characteristics of the technology (transparency, traceability and integration of rules and procedures in the technology itself) combined with current technical developments, process and service innovation, applications such as smart contracts and publicly-held registers, have the potential to significantly change audit and control activities. In this context, we conducted a study based on the grounded theory to understand how auditors in Switzerland anticipate the impacts of Blockchain on their daily activities. Based on the findings, three hypotheses have emerged. First, the potential disruptive effect of the technology on the profession is not anticipated, particularly by smaller audit firms. Second, the profession might go through a paradigm shift in two ways: become more IT than accounting oriented and become more forward than backward-looking. Lastly, the profile of the auditors will change.
ItemShadow IT Use, Outcome Effects, and Subjective Performance Evaluation( 2018-08-30)Abstract: The use of shadow IT (information technology systems not sanctioned or monitored by a company’s IT department) may be seen as either a form of organizational misbehavior or proactive and creative problem-solving. We examine whether these differing possible perceptions have implications for the subjective evaluation of subordinate performance. In our experiment, participants choose whether to award a bonus to an employee when different IT systems are used (normal vs. shadow IT) across different outcome levels (high vs. low outcomes). We find that employees using shadow IT are less likely to receive the bonus in both high and low outcome conditions relative to employees using the normal IT system. Our results suggest that shadow IT usage is more likely to be viewed as organizational misbehavior and to cast a negative light on employee performance.
ItemThe Effect of Time Pressure, Task Complexity and Litigation Risk on Auditors’ Reliance on Decision Aids( 2018-08-27)Auditors’ reliance on decision aids has been the subject of much research in the decision-aid literature. Extant literature shows that auditors are somewhat reluctant to rely on decision aids throughout the audit process, despite potential improvement in decision accuracy. The objective of this study is to empirically examine the extent to which auditors’ reliance on decision aids is associated with the perceived levels of time pressure, task complexity and litigation risk—decision aid reliance factors that have been understudied in the auditing literature. In a 2 x 2 x 2 between-subjects experimental design, the independent variables were manipulated as follows: time pressure (high, low), task complexity (high, low) and litigation risk (high, low). The dependent variable reflects the level of reliance on a decision aid. Study results indicate a positive relationship between each of the three factors and decision aid reliance. A three-way interaction was also indicated, suggesting that the joint effect of litigation risk and task complexity depends on the level of perceived time pressure. Study findings hold implications for both practicing auditors and audit researchers, particularly in the increasingly litigious environment in which auditors are immersed.