University of Mississippi Assistant Professor to Receive Audit Quality Research Support from the AICPA

March 1, 2018

A proposal submitted by a team including Jeffrey Pickerd, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Mississippi, “Auditing with Data and Analytics: External Reviewer Perceptions of Audit Quality,” was one of three winners selected for support by ARAG from 16 submissions. Pickerd will work with Scott Emett, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Arizona State University; Steven Kaplan, Ph.D., Director and KPMG Professor of Accountancy, Arizona State University; and Elaine G. Mauldin, Ph.D., CPA, BKD Professor of Accountancy, University of Missouri on this project to study how external reviewers evaluate audit quality under the data and analytics approach to audit testing versus the traditional approach. 

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 technology-based audit tools.

“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 Emett, Kaplan, Pickerd and Mauldin 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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