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CAQ and AAA Auditing Section Announce 2014 Access to Audit Personnel Program Awards

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Four research teams to gain access to auditors for research

Washington, DC – The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) today announced four awards as a part of an innovative program designed to facilitate accounting and auditing academics’ ability to obtain access to audit firm personnel to participate in their research projects. The CAQ and the AAA Auditing Section established the Access to Audit Personnel program in 2013 to generate research on issues that are relevant to audit practice while providing doctoral students and tenure-track professors with access to audit firm staff to complete data collection protocols.

From the nearly 36 proposals received in response to a January 2014 RFP, the Review Committee selected four projects to support:

  • Benjamin P. Commerford, University of Alabama, Do Auditors Constrain the Earnings Impact of Real Earnings Management? An Experimental Examination, (with Rick Hatfield and Rich Houston, University of Alabama)
  • Emily Griffith and Patrick Hurley, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ego Depletion and Evidence Integration While Auditing Complex Estimates (with Jacqueline Hammersley, University of Georgia)
  • Jon Pyzoha, Case Western Reserve University, Can an Audit Firm’s Tone at the Top Messaging Attenuate Confirmation Bias in Audits of Fair Value Measurements? (with Mark Taylor and Yi-Jing Wu, Case Western Reserve University)
  • K. Kelli Saunders, University of South Carolina, Examining the Impact of Offshoring and Level of Preparer Judgment on the Audit Review Process

“We are pleased to provide these academics with important access to audit personnel for their research projects,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. “This program is a valuable partnership that can benefit the audit profession and the academic community. We thank the CAQ’s Governing Board firms for providing unique access to profession personnel, which can help to generate research that is truly meaningful to auditors.” 

A committee of senior academics and audit practitioners evaluated the proposals based on such factors as ability to address important research questions that are relevant to practice, contribution to academic literature, and methodological soundness. CAQ staff will work closely with the CAQ’s Governing Board firms to ensure the successful completion of the field work for each of these projects. 

The estimated level of effort for the research awards is over 355 hours. The number of participants requested in these projects ranges from 120 to 160 audit firm personnel, for a total of 580 across the four projects. The personnel requested includes all levels, from audit seniors (those with three to five years of experience) to audit partners. 

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About the CAQ

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) is an autonomous public policy organization dedicated to enhancing investor confidence and public trust in the global capital markets. The CAQ fosters high quality performance by public company auditors, convenes and collaborates with other stakeholders to advance the 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. Based in Washington, DC, the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. For more information, visit and follow the CAQ on Twitter: @TheCAQ.

About the AAA

The American Accounting Association promotes worldwide excellence in accounting education, research and practice. The Association is a voluntary organization of persons interested in accounting education and research. For more information, visit