Isenberg Accounting Researchers Earn Prestigious Research Support

September 6, 2013


Two Isenberg researchers--Elaine Wang, an assistant professor of accounting, and Aaron Saiewitz, a Ph.D. candidate in accounting--have received a prestigious grant for their research project from the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Audit Quality (CAQ). Competing in a field of nearly 50 submissions, the Isenberg researchers' proposal was one of only three to receive approval from the CAQ in its annual support of scholarly academic research. In addition to funding, support will include critical access to high-quality subjects at CAQ Governing Board Firms, which include the large, global public company audit networks.


The Isenberg researchers' project, "An Experimental Study of How Cultural Mindsets Impact Auditor Skepticism in Fair Value Auditing," will compare how American and Chinese auditors identify different types of errors embedded in an auditing case provided by the researchers. Drawing on previous research, Wang and Saiewitz propose that American auditors are more likely to identify firm-specific errors, while Chinese auditors are more likely to identify environmental errors, like deviations from industry norms.  In addition to its contributions to the academic literature, the project, note its authors, "will be useful for practitioners in improving their training on fair value auditing and adapting global training materials to local offices with different cultural backgrounds."


Isenberg is a thought leader among business schools in research involving the psychology of performing audits, i.e., audit judgment and decision making. According to the most recent Accounting Research Rankings by Brigham Young University, Isenberg is tied for first in North America and is second in the world in the category for behavioral audit research. The ranking covers a six-year span.


The Center for Audit Quality is an autonomous public policy organization dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in global capital markets. Affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, it fosters high-quality performance by public company auditors, works with other stakeholders to advance discussion of critical issues requiring action and intervention, and advocates policies and standards that promote public company auditors' objectivity, effectiveness, and responsiveness to dynamic market conditions.