Bentley University Researchers to Receive Audit Quality Research Support from the AICPA


The CPA profession is one of the most trusted professions in the world, and a commitment to performing high-quality services is key to maintaining that trust. With support from the American Institute of CPAs’ (AICPA) Assurance Research Advisory Group (ARAG), a Bentley University professor and Ph.D. student will perform research that could uncover valuable insights into audit quality.

A proposal submitted by Jay C. Thibodeau, Ph.D., CPA, Rae D. Anderson Professor of Accountancy, Bentley University and Annie L. Witte, Ph.D. student, Bentley University, “Non-Global Network Firms’ Use of Technology-Based Audit Tools and Implications for Audit Quality,” was one of three winners selected for support by ARAG from 16 submissions. The project aims to identify environmental pressures and firm-level factors that may enhance or inhibit the use of technology-based audit tools by non-global network firms and their relationship with audit quality. 

ARAG is a group of practitioners and academics formed in collaboration with the American Accounting Association that funds research projects addressing private company assurance quality. Accounting educators whose proposals are selected by ARAG are eligible for up to $15,000 in funding and, where applicable, access to peer reviewers and firm personnel or anonymized firm data provided by the AICPA Peer Review Program with firm consent.

The other two winning proposals will research risk assessment and auditing with data and analytics.

“We thank all who submitted proposals,” said Susan S. Coffey, CPA CGMA, AICPA executive vice president for public practice. “Audit data analytics, risk assessment and the use of technology – topics that will be addressed in this latest round of research – are important facets of our Enhancing Audit Quality initiative. The three selected projects have the potential to provide important audit and assurance insights.”

The research to be performed by Thibodeau and Witte aligns with the goals of the AICPA’s Enhancing Audit Quality initiative (EAQ), which is a holistic solution for improving audit quality in an increasingly complex business environment. Through EAQ, the AICPA uses a data-driven approach to identify trends in audit quality and address those trends through targeted action, including developing resources and tools for auditors and auditees.

ARAG will accept its next round of proposals in summer 2018. For more information, visit the ARAG website.

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