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

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Joint venture provides four research teams with access to auditors for research 

Washington, D.C. – The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) today announced four awards as a part of a new 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 program 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 50 proposals received in response to a January 2013 RFP, the Review Committee selected four projects to support:

  1. Ashley Austin, The University of Georgia, (Ph.D. in 2016) Improving Auditors’ Consideration and Disconfirming Evidence when Evaluating Complex Estimate Assumptions (with Jackie Hammersley) 
  2. Melissa Carlisle, Georgia Tech, (Ph.D. in 2015) Management Inquiry: Does Mode of Communication Matter? 
  3. Marcus Doxey, University of Kentucky, (Ph.D., 2013, Accounting Doctoral Scholar) Improving Audits of Management Estimates: The Role of Effective Audit Committees and Public Materiality Disclosure (with Linda McDaniel and Bob Ramsay) 
  4. Aaron Zimbleman, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, (Ph.D. in 2014) Is That Your Final Answer? Understanding and Improving Auditor Judgment Through Dialectical Bootstrapping (with Mark Peecher) 

“These four projects represent a significant commitment on the part of the profession to provide opportunities for academics to conduct experimental research that can have a profound impact on the auditing profession,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. “By providing access to profession personnel, academic scholars will be able to generate research that is truly meaningful to auditors. We thank our Governing Board member firms for providing unique access and support to the next generation of accounting and auditing professors.”

“Under this program, academic scholars will be able to test their research hypotheses using personnel from several different firms, with the CAQ serving as facilitator, a much more efficient process than we currently experience,” said AAA Auditing Section President Roger Martin. “The AAA and Auditing Section are excited to partner with the CAQ on the Access to Audit Personnel program and applaud the CAQ’s Governing Board member firms for their support.” 

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.

The estimated level of effort for the research awards is 270 hours. The number of participants requested in these projects ranges from 60 up to 150 audit firm personnel, for a total of 440 across the four projects. The personnel requested includes all levels, from audit seniors (those with 3–5 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, D.C., 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