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At Five-Year Mark, CAQ and AAA Expand Program to Connect Academics with Audit Practitioners for Research

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Washington, DC – The Center for Audit Quality (CAQ) and the American Accounting Association (AAA) issued a call for research proposals and announced an expansion of their joint annual program, Access to Audit Personnel. Launched in 2012, Access to Audit Personnel is designed to connect academics with audit practitioners who can participate in research projects.

“Academic research can be vital for audit professionals in search of new solutions to challenges arising in an ever-evolving business landscape,” said Cindy Fornelli, executive director of the CAQ. “We are excited to offer and expand this program to connect academics in search of study participants with qualified, experienced audit practitioners. Staff from all levels of the profession—from staff auditors up to audit partners—have participated in this program in years past, and we look forward to initiating another round of research opportunities.” 

The CAQ and AAA Auditing Section created the program to provide access to audit firm personnel for doctoral students and assistant professors seeking tenure so that they could conduct behavioral research studies on issues related to audit practice. This year, eligibility has been expanded to tenured faculty in addition to PhD and tenure-track professors.

“The Access to Audit Personnel program has been invaluable to the scholars who have been selected for awards,” said Karla Johnstone, President of the AAA Auditing Section. “One of the greatest challenges that behavioral researchers face is obtaining participants from more than one audit firm. The access program guarantees that these projects will draw participants from the eight largest accounting firms with the help of the CAQ.” 

Applicants must submit a proposal that outlines the theory and hypotheses to be tested in the experiment along with a data collection protocol that is in an advanced stage of development. A review committee of well-respected senior academics and audit partners assess the proposals based on methodological soundness, potential contribution to academic literature, and ability to address important research questions that are relevant to practice.

Since its inception, the Access to Audit Personnel program has provided grant recipients with access to nearly 2,100 audit participants. The CAQ’s Governing Board firms worked closely with CAQ staff to ensure successful execution of these projects.

The request for proposal is available on the CAQ’s website.

Proposals may be submitted using the online application process.

The deadline for submitting a proposal is 11:59 pm PST on February 1, 2017.

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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, DC, the CAQ is affiliated with the American Institute of CPAs. 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