An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Fraud Specialist and Audit Mindsets on Fraud Risk Assessments and on the Development of Fraud-Related Problem Representations

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Fraud risk assessment is an important audit process that has a direct impact on the effectiveness of auditors' fraud detection in an audit. However, prior literature has shown that auditors are generally poor at assessing fraud risk. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) suggests that auditors may improve their fraud risk assessment performance by adopting a fraud specialist mindset. A fraud specialist mindset is a special way of thinking about accounting records. While auditors think about the company's recorded transactions in terms of the availability of supporting documentations and the authenticity of the audit trail, fraud specialists think instead ... continued below

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viii, 218 p. : ill.

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Chui, Lawrence August 2010.

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  • Chui, Lawrence

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Description

Fraud risk assessment is an important audit process that has a direct impact on the effectiveness of auditors' fraud detection in an audit. However, prior literature has shown that auditors are generally poor at assessing fraud risk. The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) suggests that auditors may improve their fraud risk assessment performance by adopting a fraud specialist mindset. A fraud specialist mindset is a special way of thinking about accounting records. While auditors think about the company's recorded transactions in terms of the availability of supporting documentations and the authenticity of the audit trail, fraud specialists think instead of accounting records in terms of the authenticity of the events and activities that are behind the reported transactions. Currently there is no study that has examined the effects of the fraud specialist mindset on auditors' fraud risk assessment performance. In addition, although recent studies have found that fraud specialists are more sensitive than auditors in discerning fraud risk factors in situation where a high level of fraud risk is present, it remains unclear whether the same can be said for situation where the risk of fraud is low. Thus, the purpose of my dissertation is to examine the effects of fraud specialist and audit mindsets on fraud risk assessment performance. In addition, I examined such effects on fraud risk assessment performance in both high and low fraud risk conditions. The contributions of my dissertation include being the first to experimentally examine how different mindsets impact fraud-related judgment. The results of my study have the potential to help address the PCAOB's desire to improve auditors' fraud risk assessment performance though the adoption of the fraud specialist mindset. In addition, my study contributes to the literature by exploring fraud-related problem representation as a possible mediator of mindset on fraud risk assessment performance. I executed my dissertation by conducting an experiment in which mindset (fraud specialist or audit) was induced prior to the completion of an audit case (high or low in fraud risk). A total of 85 senior-level accounting students enrolled in two separate auditing classes participated in my study. The results from my experimental provide empirical support that it is possible to improve auditors' fraud risk assessment through adapting the fraud specialist mindset. My study also provides preliminary evidence that individuals with the fraud specialist mindset developed different problem representations than those with the audit mindset.

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viii, 218 p. : ill.

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  • August 2010

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  • Jan. 6, 2011, 6:55 a.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Chui, Lawrence. An Experimental Examination of the Effects of Fraud Specialist and Audit Mindsets on Fraud Risk Assessments and on the Development of Fraud-Related Problem Representations, dissertation, August 2010; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc30447/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .