R.C.E. (Renske) Evers

Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
ERIM PhD Candidate (parttime programme)
Affiliated since 2021

PhD Track Side-effects of internal quality reviews in the audit practice

ABSTRACT: Regulators across the globe require professional audit firms to perform Internal Quality Reviews (IQRs) to maintain and enhance audit quality. However, there is little empirical evidence on the effectiveness of IQRs in achieving their set objectives to promote audit quality. Informal interviews with practicing auditors involved in the review process indicate that there might be some unintended side-effects of the current IQR process that undermine its effectiveness in promoting audit quality. Practicing audit senior managers and partners seem to perceive the IQR process as an unfair performance appraisal process, which causes them to engage in audit quality-threatening behaviors (e.g., stylization behavior, checking-the-box attitude, and unwarranted conservatism). I plan to use a multi-method approach to examine the current IQR process to provide evidence of these side-effects of IQRs and to identify ways to remediate them. In a survey, I plan to examine auditors’ perceptions of the IQR process and identify the primary drivers of how auditors react to an IQR. In an experiment, I plan to focus on the main drivers of auditors’ behavioral responses to an IQR and examine actual behaviors including causality. My study will provide regulators and professional audit firms with important insights about the IQR process and provide evidence on how to improve this process in achieving its objective of promoting audit quality.

KEYWORDS: Internal Quality Reviews, IQR, Audit Quality, Unintended Consequences, Stylization Behavior, Checking-the-box-attitude, Conservatism, Unfairness, Perceptions.
Time frame
2021 -


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