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Modelling Dysfunctional Audit Behavior using Firm Factors

HBin Paino, Zubaidah Ismail, Malcolm Smith


Dysfunctional audit behaviour such as premature sign-off, gathering of insufficient evidence, accepting of weak client explanation, altering or replacing the audit procedures, and under-reporting of time have negative effects specifically on the auditing profession. The underlying premise of academic research is that dysfunctional audit behaviour is a dysfunctional reaction to the environment (i.e. control system). These behaviours can, in turn, have direct and indirect impacts on audit quality. This study advances auditing research by examining the specific factors that contribute to this behaviour, namely, budget emphasis (BE), leadership behaviours and effectiveness of audit review (ARv). The current study develops and tests a theoretical model built from the audit firm’s factors. The model identifies budget emphasis, leadership behaviour structure and leadership behaviour consideration and effectiveness of audit review as antecedents of attitudes towards Dysfunctional audit behaviour (DAB). Path analysis using PLS was used to evaluate the proposed hypotheses. Path analysis, rather than moderated regression analysis or ANOVA, was used because the theoretical model presented in this study is viewed as an antecedent framework for dysfunctional audit behaviour. Path analysis based on a partial least square technique indicates that the survey results from 225 audit managers support the theoretical model. This study contributes to dysfunctional audit behaviour research by focusing on the combined effect of a group of independent variables. The findings produced consistent evidence that it is contextual variables, such as leadership behaviour structure and effectiveness of audit review, that lead to undesirable behaviour and not the emphasis on meeting budgets.

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