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CAQ and AAA Auditing Section Seek Proposals for Access to Audit Personnel Program (January 2014)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Washington, D.C. – The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the Auditing Section of the American Accounting Association (AAA) today announced a request for proposals for a joint 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 last year to generate research on issues that are relevant to audit practice, while providing doctoral students and those professors seeking tenure with access to audit firm personnel to complete the research study protocols.

“The CAQ looks forward to building on the initial success of this joint program with the AAA Auditing Section,” said CAQ Executive Director Cindy Fornelli. “This program would not be possible without the commitment of our member firms to support research through this program in the hopes of encouraging accounting scholars to focus their interests on topics that are relevant to the public company auditing profession.”

“This unique program provides a vehicle for academic scholars to gather data related to audit judgment and decision making research from personnel at several public accounting firms, with the CAQ serving as facilitator, to the mutual benefit of the academic community and the accounting and auditing profession,” said AAA Auditing Section President Mark Taylor. “We applaud the CAQ and its member firms for their support of this valuable program.” 

The request for proposals (RFP) for the Access to Audit Personnel program seeks proposals submitted by doctoral students and tenure-track faculty. A committee of senior academics and audit practitioners will evaluate 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. 

In 2013, four projects received access awards that resulted in obtaining participation of nearly 450 audit personnel. The level of staff requested ranged from audit seniors (those with 3–5 years of experience) through to audit partners. The estimated level of effort was over 250 hours. Projects required between 80 and 170 participants. Each of the four projects commenced data collection between August and October of 2013. Protocols were administered through various formats: in-person at firm training sessions, online, or hard copy distributed directly to participants. The eight CAQ Governing Board firms worked closely with CAQ staff to ensure successful implementation of these projects. “This program is designed as a ‘turn-key’ endeavor,” said Fornelli. “Unlike our other CAQ research grant program, where academic scholars seek funds to develop a research topic, the applicants in this program must submit a data collection protocol that is ready to be fielded. The expectation is that the data collection will be completed within five months of award, before the start of the profession’s ‘busy season.’” 

The RFP is available on the CAQ’s website. 

Proposals may be submitted using a new online application process. The deadline for submitting a proposal is 5:00 pm, Monday, April 22, 2014.

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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, D.C., the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. For more information, visit

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