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CAQ and AAA Auditing Section Announce Four Awards for Access to Audit Personnel Program (April 2015)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Washington, DC – The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) today announced four awards for the Access to Audit Personnel Program. This is the third year that the CAQ and the AAA Auditing Section have supported this program that facilitates the ability of accounting and auditing academic scholars to acquire access to audit firm personnel who participate in their research projects. From the 24 proposals received, the Review Committee selected the following projects to support:

  1. Ann Backof, University of Virginia, How Does Evidence Specificity in Auditors’ Look-Back Analysis Affect Auditors’ Planning Judgments? (with Roger Martin and Jane Thayer, University of Virginia)
  2. Cassandra Estep, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Integrating IT Specialist Input on Audit Engagements: The Joint Effects of IT Specialist Attitude and Team Membership
  3. Michael Ricci, University of Georgia, Using Audit Programs to Improve Audits of Complex Estimates (with Jacqueline Hammersley, University of Georgia)
  4. Nicole Wright, Northeastern University, The Impact of Attraction Effect and Specific Guidance on Auditors’ Assessment of Level 3 Fair Value Assumptions (with Sudip Bhattacharjee, Virginia Tech, and Kimberly Moreno, Northeastern University)

“The CAQ is pleased to continue this valuable and unique program that has the potential to inform and help shape the future of the auditing profession,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. 

“The Auditing Section greatly appreciates the support that the CAQ and its eight Governing Board firms provide to our scholars in their quest to conduct meaningful research” said AAA Auditing Section President Jay Thibodeau.  “We commend the firms for all of the hard work they undertake to identify the appropriate staff and secure their participation in these projects. In addition to the time required to complete the research protocols, we appreciate that there is a great deal of effort that goes on behind the scenes to make this program a success.”  

The Review Committee of audit partners and senior academics evaluated the proposals based on such factors as ability to address important research questions that are important to practice, methodological soundness and contribution to academic literature.  An estimated 500 audit staff of varying levels from the eight CAQ Governing Board firms will be asked to participate in these four research projects.

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

About the CAQ

The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) is an autonomous, nonpartisan 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 CPAs. For more information, visit